Android Love

Defective is a fifty-three-page short story by Pamela Stewart published in 2017. That makes it attractive to the young adult crowd (12-18) for which it was written. Older adults are also allowed to read it.

Xiau (or Sifu) is a scientist in China specializing in creating androids that can perform humint intelligence functions for the North Asia Army. That means they have to interact with humans to find desired information. Certain high officials are not happy with many of Xiau’s Android builds. Some of them seem to have a mind of their own. A visiting inspector has threatened to shut down the lab if the next assignment is not carried out in a satisfactory manner. The only android remotely available for the job is Zee.

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Which Hero Do You Want To Be?

The List by J. A. Konrath is described on its cover as a “Technothriller.” There are elements of the story that make this term relevant but I feel the story has several more interesting parts. There is the mystery in which a selected number of people are chosen for very gruesome killing. Who is doing the killing and why? We know why the victims were selected. They all have a number tattooed on one of their heels. The numbers range from one to ten and they all come under attack by either Jack the Ripper, Vlad the Impaler or Attila the Hun. The three attackers all have a number tattooed on their heels. For some reason, they are attacking the other seven members of the closed ten-person group although a few others might be killed as collateral damage. The seven numbered main targets don’t have colorful three name labels as do the attackers but their names are equally famous. Einstein, Abe Lincoln, Shakespeare, and Joan of Arc are principal targets.

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Who is #1001?

Girl From Above by Pippa DaCosta is a complex well-written science fiction fantasy about relationships between humans and “synths” (synthetic humans). There is space exploration, rogues who have few redeeming qualities, a mysterious insurgent identity known as the “Nine,” a controlling military identity (the “Fleet) and an overall powerful umbrella organization (Chitech) headed by a mysterious Chinese businessman. All of these introduced Book #1 of a planned series, “The 1000 Revolution.”

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A Heartwarming Fairy Tale

This is a short story I purchased from Amazon at the price of USD 0.99. The Amazon book preview promised I would be hooked from the very first line. The first line of the preview hooked me. It was not the first line of the story, however.

The story is told in 48 pages. The reader will suspect the “terrible secret” within the first few pages. But most readers will not predict the rather surprising, unpredictable ending.

At age sixteen, it is Amara’s turn to go through the medical screening that will allow her to qualify for confirmation, an event that will mark her transition to an adult life. No longer will she be locked up with her sisters to await a time when she can go out in public, perhaps even to dance. She would like to dance with Hunter, a guardsman she might fall in love with if she could get past the very physical restrictions on a person not yet sixteen. It was an inappropriate relationship between a princess and a guardsman but it was better than the complete lack of relationships she had experienced up to now.

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It’s Time

Family Reunion by Jaxon Reed is a short story I downloaded through Instafreebie from the author’s website. This is a type of time travel story. It is extremely short and my comments will mirror this.

Dr. James Smithers is a university lecturer of history. He does not travel through time although he believes in time travel. This is because at unpredictable times people from the future travel back in time to meet him. They have been doing this all his life. And all his life he has had questions. As he grew older, he grew braver in asking his questions. What could they tell him about the future? That is when he found out about protocols, rules that said he couldn’t ask questions.

The time travelers James met were not just anyone. They were members of his family; his children, great-grandchildren or perhaps cousins. James knew this by their eyes. It wasn’t that James was asking about significant events from the future, he just wanted to get to know his family.

And then one day it all came together in a big family reunion event. You have to read this extremely short story to find out what happened. From the author’s website, it is free.

What Time Is It?

The River by Jennifer Ellis is a short story about time travel. The 55-page short story published in 2015 has four chapters each with a year for the chapter title. We see the story first placed in 2012, then back to 1990, 1995, and 2003. I liked the dedication statement prior to Chapter One: “ For everyone who has made a mistake…” With that qualification, we may have a short story for everyone.

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Androids need Love Too

Welcome to the Madhouse by S. E. Sasaki is a medical, science fiction, fantasy, romance novel. It was selected as a Book of the Day by OnlineBookClub.org and was available for free on Amazon. Not Kindle Unlimited (KU) but free. That is a lot of mix of genre. There is also a mystery but it has a lighter emphasis that doesn’t really qualify the novel as a fit for the genre mystery.

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