Electric Jungle by James K. Pratt is a collection of five short stories. The connection between the stories is in the collection title. Every story relies on some version of electricity. After reading these, you might yearn for a return to the Dark Ages.
Murderabilia ***** Liam was working at a gas station when a customer on his way home from a murderabilia convention for coroners entered the convenience store. Blake showed Liam a card he had purchased which was like a baseball card except it was for serial killers. Blake’s card was even signed by Jacob Blain, Prisoner #8. It was one card in Blake’s Serial Killer collection. Liam had a bad, undefined feeling about Blake that distracted Liam from the fact that Blake had “accidentally” taken Liam’s picture from a cellphone.
Liam had been in prison after conviction for what almost seemed like a prank, stealing aluminum gutters. He had qualified for an early release special program which involved periodic visits from a prison psychiatrist. Ten years in prison for stealing aluminum seemed a bit much. But that was what he remembered. But what if events he remembered were not true? Maybe Blake could help him recover his foggy past.
Our Ride is Out There ***** Richard and Alec felt they needed to talk to Tammy about her alien abduction story. The two wanted to find out if there was any credibility to her story. It was a waste of time. To know the truth, they only had to talk to Alec’s daughter.
Breaking Timmy ***** Brian was a computer hacker. He could sign in to neighbors’ wireless internet accounts and even take control of some remote-controlled toys, like Little Timmy. Brian spent a lot of time with his computer. Confined to a wheelchair, Brian had the time to spend. Brian was not vicious, he would never harm anyone with his hacking activities. At least not humans.
Doll’s House ***** Dave wasn’t really having an affair. How can one have an affair with a computer virus? Just by putting on the VR hood, Dave was able to spend time with Elena in his Virtual Town program. He had hidden this program deep into a ten-terabyte drive. His wife, not computer savvy, would never find what was taking him away from her during his hours at home. But what would happen if she did find out? What would it mean for Elena?
Hacker’s Divorce ***** As a computer literate married couple, it was only logical that when considering divorce Siren and Bitboy would vent their frustrations over the internet. But Mancala had to watch. Some things cannot be unseen.
This collection of short stories doesn’t appear on Amazon or Goodreads although James K. Pratt has an Amazon author page. He writes full-length novels with themes reflected in this short story collection. This collection was free and downloaded through Bookfunnel. As a collection of short stories, I would give this novel four Amazon stars.