Reading, Reviews

Short Story Reviews 2

TLDR: Read this, and this, and this, and if you’re into military SF this.

Here is another review of short stories following close on the heels of my previous review. (Next review here.)

Reminder, my rating system is a bit quirky. There is not actually a bad rating (I never plan to give out zero stars, such stories would simply not be mentioned):
1 star – very well written, but not my cup of tea.
2 stars – Well written and interested me.
3 stars – Soooo good. I want to re-read and study this story to improve my writing, but the concept or execution or both also excite me on their own.

Spoiler-free, here goes:

3 stars – Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson
I first read this in the Dangerous Women anthology and it knocked my socks off. I literally had to put the book down and recover from the chills racing up my spine at the stunning reveal that happens in this book. Sanderson is a master of creating elaborate rule systems and then, without ever breaking the rules, landing an incredible dramatic punch out of nowhere.

3 stars – Mr. Pell By C.S. Malerich. Published in Ares Magazine (Issue 3)
I was hesitant about this story at first as I judged its premise based on the first few paragraphs, but it won me over with powerful storytelling. I was almost brought to tears by the characters and their tragic world. This is required reading. Most of the story takes place on a bus with almost nothing happening yet I was hooked! The characters come out of their shells with patience and care. What develops is unexpected and powerful and has stuck with me. Link to the author’s page.

3 stars – The Clockwork Atom Bomb By Dominic Green
This is a must-read short story. Imagine the most gripping, horrifying, and pessimistic parts of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle crammed into about ten pages. As another reviewer wrote, “this will keep you up at night”. The story is loaded with humanity, but not in the complimentary way that is usually meant. It shows the side of humanity that is short-sighted, vengeful, and intelligent beyond the wildest dreams of any other animal on the planet without an ounce more wisdom.
This story will make you look at the person in the car next to you when you’re at a stop light and ask yourself: Would I trust that person with nuclear waste disposal? We are meddling with enormous powers. Best to laugh, to avoid weeping with despair.
Podcast of the story.

2 stars – Turncoat by Steve Rzasa
Aw, this is such a fun story to me. Maybe it’s like two and a half stars. I really enjoy this sort of techy, action, space adventure. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I must distinguish the above 3 stories from this one. Still, I love this story.


4 thoughts on “Short Story Reviews 2”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s