Showing posts with label flash fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flash fiction. Show all posts

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The Sea Was a Fair Master
The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer
Self-published, 2018
Ebook. 83 pages.

About The Sea Was a Fair Master:

"'The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him. 

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love. 

For the sea was a fair master."

I've only recently started reading more flash fiction, and with each collection of stories I read, the more I seem to enjoy it! The Sea Was a Fair Master is an exceptionally dark collection of flash fiction, which, as you might expect, I was immediately drawn to and loved. 

Each story is, of course, very short, but that doesn't take anything away from the intensity, the setup, or the twists in each one. A few twists here and there were somewhat predictable, but I didn't really mind at all because I still enjoyed reading the build-up that Demmer created. I'm also incredibly impressed by how much style and distinct voice Demmer was able to fill into such short bursts of fiction, and it really leaves me wanting to read more and see what else he has up his sleeve.

There's  a little bit of everything in this book, from crime, horror, science fiction, some fantasy--if you like variety, you'll love it. Some stories start off seemingly innocent, some throw you right into knowing that something is wrong, and that versatility is something that I really liked about Demmer's style. I can't go into too much depth about the individual stories, but a few standouts for me were:

"On the Seventh Day": This is the first story and it set the tone for the rest of the collection perfectly.

"The Sea Was a Fair Master": Being stationed in the middle of the ocean can get boring, so some men partake in an...unusual... hobby to pass the time.

"Sea Ate Nine": A story with unexpected twists the entire way through-- I was surprised by the ending, but I also loved it.

"Trashcan Sam": A dark take on the hobbies of garbage collectors... This one was a delight.

"Like a Spanish Guitar": A couple decides to take a nice picnic near a lake... and it becomes completely unexpected, yet brilliantly executed.

Overall, I've given The Sea Was a Fair Master 4.25 stars. If the idea of some short, twisty, and dark flash fiction appeals to you or intrigues, then pick this one up! I believe it's only $2.99 for the ebook right now, so you can't go wrong there.

*I received a copy of The Sea Was a Fair Master courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*

Buy the book: Amazon

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mini-Review: After World by Brittany Miller

After World: Tales of the Post-Apocalyptic by Brittany Miller. Brittany Miller, 2018. Ebook. 66 pages.

To begin, the only reason that I'm labeling this a mini-review is because this collection is only about sixty-six pages long and consists of nine post-apocalyptic flash fiction pieces/short stories. There's only so much I can say about each one without simply retelling each story to you.

I've read only a small handful of post-apocalyptic books, so this is an area that I've been interested in exploring more of and which made me eager to explore this collection. Miller also pitched this book to me as having no zombies, which pretty much sold me because I am just not a huge zombie fan--I just don't get the appeal.

I was really impressed by Miller's writing in these short little stories.She has a talent for saying a lot in a short amount of words, which showcases her deft skill at both word choice and the ability to develop a strong atmosphere. There is a very simplistic, almost austere quality about these stories, which seems to fit well with the post-apocalyptic genre of this collection.

"The Pleasure Earth" and "The Man of Snow" were probably my two favorites for very different reasons."The Pleasure Earth" felt so relevant and so honest, and I loved the bleakness that it ends with. "The Man of Snow" is probably the longest story of the bunch and is packed full of interesting things to ponder--I hesitate to go into any details because it'd be best for you to explore all of these without much knowledge going in.

"She Dreamed of Horses" is one of the shorter, simpler stories one of the bunch, but I have to say that it is also one that has stuck with me. It is about a girl who only wants horses in a world where none are left, and it's subtle emptiness really grabbed me.

Overall, I've given After World four stars! If you like short fiction, want to read more short fiction, or are a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, then I very much recommend After World!

Buy the book: Amazon 
(note: at the time of writing this review, the Kindle edition was only $2.99!)

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