Category Archives: Short Story

Short Story and Review: “Father Avenir and the Fire Demons of Yellowstone”

Short Stories – I read the short story “Father Avenir and the Fire Demons of Yellowstone” that was posted on the Baen Books website. This short story was written by Kevin J. Anderson (http://kjablog.com) and Sarah A. Hoyt (https://accordingtohoyt.com). Mr. Anderson has published more than 140 books. Ms. Hoyt has published a dozen novels in various genres.

I categorize this short story as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in early America. It is hard to tell if this should be categorized as an Alternate History or just a Fantasy. A priest traveling alone in the west enters Yellowstone and confronts his demons.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 35 minutes I spent reading this fantasy. I liked the story enough, but it wasn’t clear to me where it was going. I think it needed more explanation. 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).

 

Advertisements

Short Story & Review: “The Midshipman”

Book Reviews – The short story, “The Midshipman” (you can read it at the link to the left), was published on the Baen Books website and was written by David Drake (http://david-drake.com). Mr. Drake has published twelve novels in his Republic of Cinnabar Navy (RCN) series. This short story is set in the Universe created for that series.

I categorize this short story as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the future. The main character is Able Spacer Ellie Woetjans of the RCN Battleship Renown. It gives a brief tale of her experiences with new Midshipman Mckinnon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 25 minutes I spent reading this science fiction story. I have read several of Mr. Drake’s novels and have enjoyed them. I give this short story a 5 out of 5.

Short Story Review: “Sufficient Unto the Day”

Short StoriesReviews – As I sat down to have lunch today I decided to read one of the many on-line short stories I have been accumulating. This one, “Sufficient Unto the Day“, was written by Tim Powers (http://www.theworksoftimpowers.com/) and posted on the Baen Books website.

As it turns out this short story is a tale of Thanksgiving dinner with a very dysfunctional and magical family. If you have had ‘issues’ with your family this past Thanksgiving, read this short story and you will begin to look back at your Thanksgiving dinner more fondly.

The Coldharp/Hoffman family was preparing for their annual Thanksgiving celebration. A few folks were coming from out of town, while others were making an appearance from the ‘other side’. It started out well, but things began to fall apart. You know how it is – plates flying apart, silverware flying and bending, and kids being sucked into a cartoon program on TV.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 32 minutes I spent reading this seasonally appropriate fantasy short story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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

Short Story Review: “The Egg”

Short Stories – I like the author Andy Weir. I have read both his “The Martian” and “Artemis” and thoroughly enjoyed both. I came across this short story of his today on https://cafebookbean.org/ and enjoyed it too, though it isn’t exactly the science fiction that he normally writes.

It is a quick read of about 5 minutes. In the story, a man dies and . . . well, it is so short you just need to read it. You can read it here. I give it a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

Review of “Children of the Dust”

Book ReviewShort Stories – The short story “Children of the Dust” is available from the Baen Books website. It was written by Catherine Asaro (http://www.catherineasaro.net). Ms. Asaro has published many works of both fiction and non-fiction. This short story is set in her “Saga of the Skolian Empire” universe. As pointed out at the end of this short story:

Two-time Nebula-award winner Catherine Asaro has an M.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard. A former ballet and jazz dancer, she founded the Mainly Jazz Dance program at Harvard and now teaches at the Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet. “Children of the Dust” is a prequel to her Major Bhaajan series, which is set within her popular Skolian Empire, with Undercity and The Bronze Skies out now.

I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set on another world, one colonized by humanity it the far future. Young 15 year old Bhaajan is one of many who live in the derelict tunnels beneath the City of Cries, the Undercity. She and the other eek out a life of survival – stealing, dealing, fighting – with one another and with the civilization that lives on the surface of the planet Raylicon.

Bhaajan wants more for her future. It will be a struggle to leave her pseudo family in the Undercity, and an even bigger struggle to fit in, but she sees enlisting the Army as her way out.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 100 minutes I spent reading this young adult science fiction short story. I both enjoyed the plot and the rich characters that were created. I look forward to reading more stories set in this universe. I give this short story a 5 out of 5.

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

Review of “The Blue Widow”

Story Stories – The short story “The Blue Widow” is available from the Baen Books website. This story was written b J. P. Sullivan. This is a little different from the other short stories I have read at Baen as it is a fantasy rather than science fiction. Baen Books selected J.P. Sullivan as the grand prize winner of the 2017 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award for this short story.

Teresa Kowalczyk is a member of a religious order that hunts monsters, a Blue Widow. She is given an assignment to travel to a remote village in Molovia. The village, Elik, is not unknown to Teresa as she was born and grew up there. Traveling back there stirs up her own personal monsters in addition to the one she was sent to hunt.

I found the 45 minutes I invested in this fantasy short story to be interesting. I would give this a 3.8 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

Review of “The Powhatan”

Short Stories – The short story “The Powhatan” is available on the Baen Books website. This alternate history tale took me about 30 minutes to read. This story was written by Tony Daniel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Daniel_(science_fiction_writer)). Mr. Daniel has published 10 novels.

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in an alternative history where Roman Legions have occupied part of North America. The Romans have the city-state of  Potomak (located West of Washington DC on the Potomac river by the falls) under siege. Seventeen year old Wannas Kittamaquand is one of 22 who have been chosen to quietly go over the city walls and seek help.

I enjoyed this short story and would like to read more of the Universe in which it is set. Not only are the Romans in North America, but there are beasts and men you would consider part of a fantasy. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Review of “Infinity Wars”

51lrZQjwvzL

Book Reviews – “Infinity Wars” eBook was published in 2017. This collection of short stories are from several different authors. What they have in common is War.

I have to say I was not a fan of this short story collection. I read about half of the stories in the book, then quit. I like military science fiction, but these stories did not grab me. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I give this short story collection a 2.8 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

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

Review of “Force Multipliers Being What They Are”

Short Stories – The science fiction/military short story “Force Multipliers Being What They Are” was written by Travis S. Taylor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_S._Taylor) and is available on the Baen Books website. Mr. Taylor has published 10 novels as well as scientific non-fiction.

I liked this short look at a US Army unit going after terrorists using the latest in technology as “force multipliers”. Unfortunately (at least to me) the story is short, only taking 25 minutes to read. I would have enjoyed reading more in the universe the story is set in. If you like military science fiction you will find this interesting.

Review of “What We’re Made Of”

Book ReviewsShort Stories – The science fiction short story “What We’re Made Of” is available from the Baen Books website. This story was written by Frank Chadwick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Chadwick). I would rate this as ‘R’ due to the scenes of Violence.

Earth is at war with the Varoki and the USMC is making one of the first combat drops onto K’tok from orbit. They have all done it many times in training, but this will be the first real drop for most, including Captain J. C. Merderet, commander of Delta Company, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Meteoric Insertion Capable (MEU-MIC).

She is ready for the jump, but scared like those she commands. She is perturbed that the higher command has inserted a reporter into her Company for the duration of the operation. She fears that this civilian will get in the way of her troops.

I really enjoyed the 40 minutes I spent reading this science fiction story. I thought it was very well written and felt like the story of a real combat jump. My only real complaint with the story is that it is too short. It felt like I jumped into the middle of the story and was pulled away too soon. But that is the complaint I have with most good short stories. I give this story a 4.4 out of 5.