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Science Fiction

Juarez Square and Other Stories, by D.L. Young

I have to admit that I don’t read many short story collections. But I do read a lot of Albedo One fiction submissions. Once you’ve read more than a hundred short stories over a short span of years, it’s not so much the really neat premise or the trick ending that catches your attention – indeed, those things can often be detriments – it’s the (a) rhythm and pace of a (b) story well told that is (c) exactly as long as it needs to be. At least, that’s what I look for. Therefore, it was a pleasure to read the ten stories that comprise this short science fiction collection, that, although loosely themed, are each one unique and satisfy all of the above criteria.

The Martian, by Andy Weir

Very concise summary: Mark Watney is Robinson Crusoe on Mars without pal Friday to keep him company. He has to figure out how to survive until the next Mars mission arrives. There have been a few books recently such as Robopocalypse and Ready Player One, that read like they have been written to be made into movies This book is one of those. I swayed between three and four stars on this one and finally kicked it up to four.

Vigil, by C. R. Saunders

Vigil is a vampire apocalyptic novel told in two time streams penned by English author Craig Saunders (writing here as C.R. Saunders). This is not a romance, the vampires are brutal and viscous killers, and the humans at war with them are suitably meek but actively opposed to the hunters higher up in the food chain than themselves.

Explaining Cthulhu To Grandma, by Alex Shvartsman

Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma is a collection of short stories by Alex Shvartsman, ranging from humorous urban fantasy stories about quack exorcists-for-hire, to Christmas tales from the deepest, grimmest future to the occasional case of meta-humorous shenanigans, taking place among characters that are perfectly aware that they are going through nonsensical events in a disorderly universe.