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How could you possibly not like a story which starts with the first line "I love children... they taste like chicken"? Thus begins the entertaining sci-fi piece of TW Brown included in an anthology of very eclectic short stories. But of course what should an anthology be if not eclectic? A big highlight of this collection to me is that there is nary a zombie, werewolf or witch to be found anywhere (well, maybe one witch). For someone who started to read again, retiring after forty years of daily work and TV, with the gift of a Kindle from my family last year, finding a modern author to get interested in is not an easy task, especially for a person who has reached overkill by those three subjects. I could, of course, stay in my own world of Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Hemingway, Herbert, and the like but I thought it would be nice to at least attempt to venture into the realm of the present. Also, I am friends with one of the authors whose story, I am delighted to say, is one of the highlights of the anthology with a wonderful mix of humor and pathos. I had to be honest in my review so I only gave the work four stars mainly because I'm a tough marker and I thought that there could have been a bit more humor in the selections. Only one story is written entirely for humor but this does not detract from the fact that the collection is extremely well written and most enjoyable. I found that the authors are not making a blessed cent from their writing but are using this as a showcase for their talents. Even though J.K. Rowling is a billionaire, I know how hard it would be to make a buck as a writer these days with internet time competing against books. The proceeds from the book cover the printing costs and the leftovers go to a literary charity. I think it's a worthwhile purchase.
This tremendous collection of dark noir stories not only complement one another but almost seem to feed off each other as well. This anthology captures an amazing moment in time not only for Booked Podcast but for the writers involved, several of who have done great things already and I'm sure will continue to do even greater things for years to come. Not a boring page exist here. A must have.