This book is a Library Thing Early Reviewer program edition I received in return for a review. Speculative Story Bites is a collection of short stories. What follows is my impression of each of the stories. The title for the collection is apt. The collection offers readers a chance to speculate. Many readers, many different interpretations. There is an interesting short biography at the end of each story that offers the reader more writings by their favorite authors.
The Business of Thorns by Shannon Phillips Imagine a flower detective. By that I mean a flower who/which is a private detective. Among other things, it leads to some horrible (or great) puns. “That was my first case. I branched out some from there, no pun intended.” (loc 226). Not intended? No way.
Hummer by Adam Gaylord When you can’t be with your real wife (because she died) how far will you go to find a substitute? Here is one possible answer.
The Gift of Death by Rebecca Roland This is a new tale of Death, who/which always takes, but never gives. Maybe this time will be different.
All the Pieces of my Heart by Dianne M. Williams It’s good to surprise you wife on her birthday, but some surprises are too much to accept. And when they are too much, the reaction to a surprise gift might be unnerving.
The Wild Corner by M.T. Reiten There is probably a moral here about the need or desirability of fences between neighbor. Surely there can be a resolution to a dispute better than this.
First Cat by Larry Hodges The presidential cat is here to give advice. One of the best pieces of advice is not to try to be too smart; there are consequences. And then there is the note the cat left behind.
The Legacy of the Butterfly King by Anya J. Davis A story of collections, of those who are the collectors and those who are the collected.
Three Grams by Jamie Lackey Alicia wanted a companion who would be just like her. Daddy always said he would be there for her. Who could be more perfect? But first, there were some adjustments to make.
The Museum of Haunted Objects by Megan Neumann Ellery wanted to find one more truly haunted object. His successor as museum curator, Lyle, would help him find it. Ellery could only express his gratitude in writing.
John Knocking by Kristina Wojtaszek John had discovered doors to the souls, of animals at least, but he had never really understood the voices. Miranda helped to refashion some of the doors. Now the voices were louder. So was Miranda’s.
A Persistence of Ghosts by Gregory Scheckler The Ghosts don’t really go away, they just become something else. And the choice of what they become is not yours.
Ligeia by Sandi Leibowitz Here is an explanation for the existence of the word “Harpy.” Its modern day meaning is consistent with the content of this story of betrayal.
This Old House by Nora Mulligan Maybe the house will be happy now that the doctor has arrived.
Granny Grizz by Tom Howard Doctor Alex thought he had a secret. Now he will get a test from his patient Gabriele. A cold heart will bring a very early winter.
Bittersweet by A.E. Decker Marcel is a specialist in chocolates. There are none like his. He is especially busy on Valentine’s Day. His chocolates promise love for those to whom his customers give the chocolates. Occasionally the taste of his chocolates was enhanced by his magic. But where is the love for Marcel?