Category Archives: Short Story

Review of “Echoes of Sherlock Holmes”

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Book Review – “Echoes of Sherlock Holmes” eBook was published in 2016 and is a compilation of short stories inspired by the tales of Sherlock Holmes.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ though there is some violence. With several Short Stories the settings vary widely. I thought that these were OK stories for the most part. My favorite was ‘Raffa’, where an actor portraying Sherlock Holmes on a popular TV show is approached by a little girl for help. I am not a fan of Short Stories, but I do read almost everything I see pertaining to Sherlock Holmes. I give this Short Story collection a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Approach”

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The Approach” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Chris Holm (http://chrisfholm.blogspot.com). Mr. Holm has published five novels as well as several short stories.

I was invited to read this short story by the author. I categorize this story as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in Las Vega, Nevada. The primary character is Michael Hendricks.

Hendricks is a hit man, but his targets are those who are sent to kill others. He goes to a seedy motel to meet up with his next potential client. He is involved in mistaken identity and is nearly killed for his efforts.

This was a quick read of 15 minutes for this 25 page short story. The pace was fast and the story does interest me in reading more about this character. This is the same character as in Holm’s book “The Killing Kind”. I do no think much of the cover chosen. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Cadet Cruise”

I accessed the short story “Cadet Cruise” from Baen books (http://www.baen.com/cadet_cruise). I categorize this Science Fiction short story as ‘G’. This is set in the ‘Cinnabar Empire’. The primary character is Cadet Daniel Leary.

Cadet Leary works with RCN officers and local authorities to catch a ring of thieves that have been taking advantage of other Cadets. The story had more potential than could be developed in the short format. I give this short story a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Shorts on the Harry Potter Universe

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A little more has been published about the North American branch of the Harry Potter Universe this week. J. K. Rowling published four short (very short) stories that give a little more history of magic in North America which are free to read on her website Pottermore.

The stories revealing some history of magic in North America are:

  • Fourteenth Century – Seventeenth Century
  • Seventeenth Century and Beyond
  • Rapport’s Law
  • 1920s Wizarding America

All together they should only take 15-30 minutes to read. What they really do is highlight the significant differences between the culture of magic in North America versus what we have seen thus far in England.

If you have read all of the Harry Potter books, these stories will wet your appetite for more of the magical world of Harry Potter. Then you only have to wait until November of this year when the move “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” premiers.

Review of “Adrift”

I just finished reading Adrift by Terry Burlison (http://www.terryburlison.com). Mr. Burlison has published a dozen or so fiction and non-fiction stories. This Science Fiction short story can be read here on the Baen publishing web site.

Dan Colton was one of the shift foreman for the crew building Solar Power Satellite Three (SPS-3) in orbit. An unlikely accident sends him flying into space and with no means of communication. The crew of SPS-3 can see Dan, but will they be able to devise a rescue plan before his limited oxygen supply is gone.

This is very short story, only taking about 20 minutes to read. I did like it though. I give this short story a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Siege of Denver”

I just finished reading the Siege of Denver by Brendan DuBois (http://www.brendandubois.com). Mr. DuBois has published 16 novels and many short stories. This short story can be read on the web.

I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This Young Adult Science Fiction novel is set in a future where Earth is under attack by an alien race. The primary character is Melissa MacKay, a Private in the 157th Infantry Regiment, Colorado National Guard. She and the rest of her thin squad are manning the trenches around Denver. Denver is under siege by the Creepers – insect like aliens that attacked Earth a decade earlier.

The Creepers have taken out all  electric and electronic sources around the planet, essentially plunging the Earth into a near nineteenth century state. When supply balloons are launched to assist the besieged Denver, a pair of Creepers come out of their protective dome to intercept them. Only Malissa and her squad mates can intercede.

This is very short story, only taking about 20 minutes to read. I did really like it though. It is set in the author’s “Dark Victory” due out next year. If the novel is anything like the short story I will have to read it. I give this short story a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads.

A Daily Bit of History Trivia

A Daily Bit of History Trivia

Trivia may not be the right descriptor, but it is close. I am referring to Dan Lewis‘ “Now I Know” daily emails. You can sign up at that site to receive an email from Dan each week day. I have been a subscriber for over a year and really like the stories. Some are not as good as others, but I read and enjoy most of them.

So what are the subjects of these emails? Actually the range of topics is broad. In the past few days the titles have been:

  • Gator Aid – an alligator lost it’s tail and received a prothesis
  • The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine – an odd case of illness
  • How to Make the World’s Best Paper Airplane – title says it all (it flew over 226 feet)
  • The Other Side of Midnight – how 20th Century Fox coerced theaters to show “a two-bit sci-fi junker” if they wanted to show the studio’s much anticipated and risque “The Other Side of Midnight” (BTW- that ‘junker’ was Star Wars)
  • Impressive Fruit – about pineapples

These are all short reads, probably no more than 10 minutes. They are a nice way to break up the morning. I have also found a few of these (like the ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ story) very interesting. Dan’s web site also has a complete archive of past stories (going back to June 22, 2010) if you want to pick-and-choose some of the older stories to read.

If you would like a little bit of a deep dive into history trivia, you should sign up for this daily email.

Galaxy’s Edge Offers On-Line SciFi Anthology

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The Galaxy’s Edge is a bi-monthly magazine with a collection of short Science Fiction stories edited by Mike Resnick. This is not a new publication (the November 2015 issues is #17), so it may not be news to you of it’s existence. The magazine is available by subscription in a paper version ($6.64 per single issue, or $37.74 per year), or as a Kindle edition from Amazon.

All issues are also available for free if read through your browser. If you enjoy Science Fiction Short Stores, then this is a good way to supplement your reading. It is also a good way to “test out” different authors by reading their short stories.

Short story Review of “The Battle of Dorking”

The battle of Dorking” was published in 2013 and was written by George Tomkins Chesney.

I obtained a galley of this short story for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this Alternate History short story as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence. The novel is written in England of the 1870s.

The story is told of how a German-like country successfully invades England. I only spent 2 hours reading the story, so there is not a lot to it. It is interesting and reminds me of HG Wells “War of the Worlds” in some ways. It would have been better if it were longer. As it is, I felt like I had read a chapter out of a longer book without benefit of knowing what came before or after.

I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Story Review of “Legacy”

“Legacy” was published in 2014 (December) and was written by J. G. Faherty (http://www.jgfaherty.com). This is Mr. Flaherty’s fifth publication.

I obtained a galley of this story for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this story as ‘PG13’ due to it’s dark nature. The story is written in the first person and is set in contemporary New England, USA. The primary character is Sean Black.

Black is a teenage science and math whiz, about to graduate early from High School. Other than that, he leads a pretty normal life, that is until the night of the storm. He has strange nightmares and imagines strange creatures. Then he begins to see changes in his body that none around him seem to notice.

Black finds a hidden room in the town library and reads there a collection of books that tell a strange history of his town. Leaving the library, he realizes he is at a decision point in his life. He can fight what is coming, save humanity, probably dying in the process. Or he can give in to his legacy, have the girl of his dreams, and rule a world plunged into chaos. What will he do?

This Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Short Story was a little on the strange side, very dark. It reminded me a little of stories written by Dean Koontz and Stephen King. It only took about 90 minutes to read, and it was well written. I have to say though, that I am not a Short Story fan. Had this story been expanded into a full novel I would have liked it more. I give it a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).