Nerds and Gamers

Hell’s Nerds and Other Tales by Stephen Lomer starts out good and gets better. The “twisty” parts of the short stories twist and turn in more and more unexpected ways. Reading earlier tales will not train a reader for what to expect in later stories. Did the author do this on purpose? How does he know what will impress me? A couple of notes on this too-quick read follow. I wanted to read more but the only way that is going to happen is to read other Lomer works. I’ll get on that right away.

Stories That Stick To The Mind

Sticky Fingers Volume 2 by JT Lawrence is the first collection of stories I have read by this author. This collection has twelve short stories; they are all a bit weird or twisted but not in an in-your-face way. To appreciate these, there must be reader engagement; readers will, on occasion, be required to provide their own conclusions. It is helpful to note that this author lives in Johannesburg. To find out why this is helpful, read the short stories. A quick note about the title (my impression). Why “Sticky?” Because the stories will stick to your mind either as amazing or as an impression of something like “What did I just read? What was its purpose?” If the purpose was entertainment, great, this collection did that. I gave this five Amazon stars for the way it woke me up and broke a pattern in my usual reading routine.

Claire and Logan Keller had made an important decision; they would adopt a child. Logan was looking forward to proceeding with a graduated step-by-step process that would include investigations by social service agencies and complex, time-consuming legal proceedings. Claire was looking to get things done as quickly as possible. When Sylvia Tran from Children’s World Adoption Services contacted the couple with adoption candidate Samantha, Claire was thrilled. She was amazed that the procedure could go so fast. Samantha would move into the Keller home within three days. Logan was instantly suspicious. Things couldn’t possibly move this quickly through legal means. Logan wanted to investigate the agency and Tran. In an emotional heart vs. brain confrontation, the more emotional Claire won, and Logan gave in, per usual. Social services visited the Keller family home in the morning (to plant surveillance equipment), a lawyer appeared the same day, and Samantha moved into her new room at the Keller home within the three-day period desired by Tran. The Adoption by Greg Meritt tells the story of strange adoption procedures that are not as they appeared to be.

This was a novel recommended to me on an Amazon review site. It is for sale on as a Kindle download for USD 3.49 or it can be read free with a KU subscription.

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Baked Goods to the Rescue

Warped is offering number three from Meantime Stories by Syingen and Pedersen. Why “Meantime?” because you read these stories in the meantime. Meantime of what? That is up to the reader who downloaded the book. This very short story can distract you from routine tasks, so you can read it in the meantime while formulating the national defense budget for small nations. Or whatever.

In the ancient times of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, creation was explained to us with the number 42. For non-lovers of math, this culinary explanation may be more fulfilling. There are two and one-half main characters plus Ada to explain what is going on with this story. Captain Lisa Henderson, commanding, and Second Pilot John Bang must deal with a crisis. We will ignore Passenger Liaison Officer Robert Decker. His character is not developed, and he complains too much anyway. The 3500 passengers are just filling.

Revisions by Nick Wisseman might begin with a quick quiz. But the quiz is by text message and Blake is driving. He should know better than to text while ….

Because when Blake wakes up he is part of a celebration. The crowds are tremendous, but he doesn’t understand the language spoken. It might be Russian but before he can react, a raid begins, complete with shooting. Words appear in his mind to let him know where he is: Odessa, Russia, during a time of the revolution. Where did the words come from? They appeared almost as words in a cartoon bubble. Blake loses consciousness, he may have been shot.

I received Dave! Part 1: The Invaders by Marc Richards by means of an email alert from Marc Richards. The book had a sale price of FREE on the Amazon site and I didn’t have to pledge to write any type of review. But I think it is polite. I knew I would post comments on my blog (and elsewhere) without author prompts because I like the way Marc Richards pokes fun at everyday things. “Invaders” is part one of a trilogy containing lots of up-to-date politically relevant satire. It is difficult to write something that makes fun of the current POTUS and his court when daily reality itself has the appearance of satire. Despite the many claims in the book about the origin of the current leadership, I maintain my belief that POTUS is not a leading element of an alien invasion.

Miracle Milk is a slang name for a substance that was an antibiotic, a hallucinogenic, and a very popular ingestible…

Duplicate by Phoenix Ward is a short story that is described as Part One of a series called Installed Intelligence Shorts. There is a further subtitle on the book: The Man With Two Bodies.

Chris Santson was approximately 30 years old when he slipped while on a mountain climbing adventure, hit his head, and was evacuated to a hospital where he remained in a coma until the point where a decision had to be made. Would he be taken off life support and die or be left to exist in a vegetative state? If the decision was for death, a procedure was available where his brain could be cloned and stored so that his mother would be able to talk with him as if he were still alive. This is the idea of installed intelligence. It is the intelligence of a once living being installed in an entity (computer) that kept the person’s intelligence and even emotions alive forever. The new creation was the original person sans body. This was the situation for Chris. He was “copied,” his physical body died, and he continued to exist except for a body.

Tales From the Mosspark Universe by Neil Mosspark is a short collection (660 locations) of five short science fiction stories.…

According to Neil Mosspark, author of Tales from the Mosspark Universe: Vol. 2, the following short tales are backstories to different parts of the Mosspark Universe. The author claims that you need no knowledge other than that contained within the short stories to enjoy them; they are all stand-alone stories.

This collection does what it was designed to do well, spur interest in the more complete treatments through novels of this fantasy, dystopian, cyberpunk world. I will be interested in reading more about Olivia and Abe (the first two sections) but cyberpunk does not work well for me as a genre. Two out of three isn’t bad.