Category Archives: Short Story

Review of “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?”

Book Reviews – “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?” is a free, Young Adult fantasy short story published on the Baen website.  It was written by Wen Spencer and published in 2017. Ms. Spencer has published four novels and several short stories.

In this story, Dugan Harman is a High School Junior with an odd past. All in the little town he has grown up in know about him and his family. They have a history of being odd . . . more like insane.

While in the woods experimenting with his camera, Dugan runs across a bear. Not just any bear, but a huge brown bear . . . that can talk. This begins a trip for Dugan where the world he has been told is his psychotic imagination, begins to become real.

While I am not much of a short story fan, I feel that the 90 minutes invested in this short story was well worth the time. I give this a 4 out of 5 evaluation.

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Review of “Preparations and Alliances”

Short Stories – I am not a big fan of short stories, but I have been reading those that are published and free on the Baen Books website. Most recently I read “Preparations and Alliances: A Story of the Arenaverse” written by Ryk E. Spoor (http://grandcentralarena.com). He has published three novels in this Universe and ten novels in total.

The story is set in his Universe of the Arena. Humanity has earned a spot in the Arena. Now they must survive outside the stringent rules the Arena imposes. Tunuvun of the Genasi has traveled with the humans back to the Solar system. He is there to do what he can to repay the Humans for what his race considers a deep debt.

While I only spent about an hour reading this Science Fiction short story, I enjoyed it. Because I had not read any other works set in this Universe, jumping in was a little hard. I would suggest having read other works first. I give this short story a 4 out of 5. As my complaint is with most short stories, it ended too soon.

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

Review of “Battle of Arnhem: Snapshots of War”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Battle of Arnhem: Snapshots of War” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Victor Gregg. Mr. Gregg has published 7 works.

I received an ARC of this short story through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this short story as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story tells of how the author went from being a rifleman to a paratrooper during World War II. Tales of his actions during operation Market Garden are included.

I thought that this was an interesting hour read of World War II History. The cover art gives a World War II feel to the story. 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).

Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine Available

Galaxy Science Fiction magazine was published from 1950 to 1976. Many of the Science Fiction masters got their start in its pages – Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Harlan Ellison & Robert Silverberg.

If you want to read some of the short stories published in Galaxy, you can do that now for free. Go to Archive.org and all of the issues (355) have been digitized and are available to download.

If old issues of Galaxy  doesn’t excite you fear not. There are over 6,000,000 other items in the archive collection.

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.