Tag Archives: short stories

The Perfect Family by Luca Rossi

perfect familyReview: If you’ve ever read “The Silver Metal Lover” by Tanith Lee, the story’s premise could be compared with Rossi’s The Perfect Family, as a relationship between a human/humanoid and an android or artificial being is explored. The basic question seems to be: what is perfection? The difficulties arise when what we once felt to be perfection changes, but only because of humanity’s changeable nature. And daily observation of perfection can make one more critical to oneself, or conversely, oblivious to the fact you are being influenced.

The author is a native Italian speaker from Turin, and it wasn’t clear if this work was written in English or translated from Italian to English after being completed. There are some wording and grammatical issues, for either of those reasons. I liked the premise and how the story was presented, yet since it is a short story from a larger work supposedly a collection, it does seem to end abruptly and without any kind of resolution or satisfaction. For whatever reason, I liked it, and it might spur a reader to consider other works by the author, but it just  might have the opposite effect for some.

Description: “Aurelia’s relationships have always ended badly, so far. When a friend of hers gives her an unusual advice, she decides to follow it and finds the man of her dreams: a perfect husband and a wonderful father. But perfection does not belong to human males….”

  • Published: Feb. 06, 2013
  • Genre & Length: Sci-fi short story
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781301549627
  • Source: Free on Smashwords

Author Profile:

Research, science, sci-fi and high technology are the world Luca Rossi lives in and the subject of his literary work. He believes in the Web as a way to approach the individuals and make the world a more rightful, open and democratic
place.

In 2013 he publishes Energies of the galaxy, a collection of short stories set in a universe that for him is moved not only by the physic’s laws, but also by the equally true ones of Eros, passion, desire and spirit.

He was born in Turin the 15th of April, 1977. He likes to go biking, to go strolling in the nature and to spend the most of his free time with his family.
Visit http://www.lucarossi369.com.
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Filed under Science Fiction, Short Story

Book Trailer for The Angel of Berlin & Explanation of A Modern Fairy-Tale

As told in previous posts prior to its release, The Angel of Berlin, is a story I wrote based entirely on a dream. I have the curse/blessing of often dreaming in vivid detail, extended version, where I can even awake, get up, walk around with memory and then go back to sleep and continue the same dream. No, it is not related to any drug contribution. It’s something that has run in my family as interpreters and healers.

Description: “When young Robin, a university student, saves the life of a beautiful youth, he finds he’s made a devoted friend. But without memory or voice, the newly named Angel is a mystery. Occasionally exasperating with his child-like qualities, he still has touches of darkness that make Robin wonder what kind of being he’s really taken in.”

The Angel of Berlin is speculative fantasy, as things happen within it that cannot be explained by science. It is magical realism because magic happens in a “real world”, the world you or I might live in and recognize. It is set in Berlin, so it is very much in a place I know (which of course represented itself in my dream). It is very like a fairy-tale, for it’s innocent overall with just a few touches of darkness that end up serving to enhance the pure light of the character Angel and his friend Robin.

In fairy-tales, all things don’t need to be known nor shown as explanation. If that is what a reader is expecting? Look into another genre specifically, or if you cannot adjust your view or appreciate different ways of writing or being? As one reviewer said and many appreciative readers have expressed regarding my writing: “you never know what to expect.”  I write all kinds of stories, fiction and non-fiction; surreal or real, unexpected, crazy, or utterly realistic having sprung directly from my experiences or memories. Serious and grim, light-hearted and gently comical, painfully emotional or academically analytical: those are all things and more I can deal with or am capable of, depending on the dream or inspiration or determination I make and wish to present because those are the range of things and more that my life has thus far been comprised of.

I do not write to be liked. I do not write for money or sales.  I do not write to gain respect nor lobby in any genre for the same reason, as I recently wrote of on a post at the group at Indie Book Collective on Goodreads.com.  I write because I have stories in me to tell that I feel with every fiber of my being because they are my being. They come from my heart, soul and mind, creations that are unconscious such as The Angel of Berlin, and those like The Agony of Joy, which was conscious, coming directly from my personal experiences.

Like much of my work, I’ve always have included a complete screenplay and film version in my mind when writing it. With Angel, I knew as soon as I heard this song that I wanted it to be the opening song of a film I would do of it: as the bicycler Robin rode through the streets on his way to work, and as “Angel” walked through the park watching all the people, marveling at the new place in which he found himself.

In Berlin, being a huge city for film premieres, filming, university courses regarding and the like, its  not surprising to see productions taking place wherever you might be. At one place I lived at Rosenheimerstr. a set production was taking place around the corner filming a story that took place during WW2. All through the day you could hear (and feel) bombing explosions.

At Friedrichstr. just outside the bahnhof, it was all closed off one night, a beautiful night, as they filmed a scene. Or you have movie videos filming professionally someplace, or amateur students doing there thing. I saw three students with a vaccum cleaner, a camera and mic filming…something…on the steps of the Berliner Dom as one actor attempted copulation with the sucking device usually used on carpets. Yea, it can be eclectic and crazy like that here but–back on point: I knew immediately after my dream and typing it up, how I wished the film version of The Angel of Berlin to proceed. Maybe one day it can happen, but for now…here’s the video description. The music is “Wild Is The Wind” sung by Nina Simone. Like my writing and reading, my range of music favorites greatly varies.

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Filed under Announcements, Books, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Gay Interest, Writers and Writing

Review and Free Read: “Hym and Hur” by Phillip Frey

Added bonus? This work is currently free during Smashwords Annual Summer/Winter Sale, July 1-31, 2012! Use code SSWIN at check-out to get your free read.

Review: “As others have noted, this author has the ability to switch genres and always be interesting and intriguing in some way. In current markets this can be chancy, or certainly ratings can suffer if an author associated primarily in one genre crosses over and previous readers sometimes cannot seem to make the distinction that some authors do have such ability. They choose to not change their name but instead present themselves as a “Renaissance” writer of sorts. I admire that and as a cross over author myself, I appreciate how hard acceptance can be, also.

Whimsy with a wicked slash of mischief; seemingly light in tone yet with a dark humor that makes you nod slowly and say, A-ha!” Hym and Hur read something like a screenplay: mostly dialogue interspersed with pertinent descriptions. Certainly some might call for fleshing the story out, but in what is presented one can understand well enough the story and its meaning, its little twists and idiosyncrasies without superfluous additions that might have detracted from the overall view. It’s fast moving. It has a point. I found it a thought-provoking short read that has meaning yet lacked pretentiousness in the delivery of its message. Not everyone’s proverbial cup of tea, but I found it was a nice surprise.”

Description: Hym and Hur are a young couple who never age and have been in love for more than a century. They also possess an array of magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at the same time is now what gets them into trouble, especially since it’s the unruly character of Death they must deal with to bring their plans to fruition.

The prank Hym and Hur have come up with must first be agreed upon by Death, who happens to be a rambunctious, difficult character. Once agreed upon, the prank is set in motion. Hym and Hur soon discover Death had tricked them into a contract with dire consequences for all of us.

During their attempt to break the contract, Hym and Hur try to save the relationship of an earthbound couple, knowing they are truly meant for each other. A good deed that will bring Hym and Hur even more trouble.

  • Published: January 14, 2012
  • Publisher: Phillip Frey
  • Available at Amazon, Smashwords and other online distributors
  • Source: Author

Other work by Phillip Frey I’ve reviewed, Dangerous Times, and my inteview with the author.

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Filed under Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Reviews, Short Story

Home Depot: Profiles in Courage by Jesse Myner

Review: A series of interconnecting stories of the crew of people at a Home Depot location, I suppose this was an attempt to show an “insider” view of what goes on between employees. Having worked at a Home Depot before, and there are certainly some unique characters, but honestly, none were this extreme. So it is non-fiction or fiction? If it’s fiction, I can imagine several of the “characters” were based on real people and/or events. If it’s non-fiction:

I’m sure the company might decide to take it as “freedom of speech” and it is supposedly fiction even though their logo and colors are used in its cover, but I’d bet their P.R. Department wouldn’t find the suggestion amusing that there are so many psychologically challenged and potentially murderous among their employees…but then, the same could be said for any company, couldn’t it? We never really know what goes on in people’s heads. In the end, I was left wondering what was the point was and how courage came into the equation.

Description: A collection of short but very true stories about the comically tragic lives of Home Depot associates and members of the freight team. For mature readers only: stories contain strong language and graphic sexual content.

Format: ebook, 35 pages
Publisher: The Human Side Press
Published: May 2011

Available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Source: Author

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From Vegas With Blood by Jonathan Sturak

Review: First person POV isn’t my favorite mode of reading and even more so when it’s a collection where you have to refocus on different characters each chapter. I suppose I tried to look for a common thread, and though each story is suppose to be connected to Las Vegas, it didn’t come over that way for me.

I could see the direction in each story and sense some of the emotion behind the character’s telling, but I found them mildly of interest at best. At times, descriptions were rather odd, and at others somewhat repetitive, but what really decided things for me was the story of the kiosk interspersed throughout. Certainly, it did start the collection off with a unique view I could understand as giving reason for the stories included, but I hadn’t forgotten about it while reading, so a reminder every chapter distracted me from the other works unnecessarily.

I found the majority of the stories very much directed towards a certain audience, quick reads which might make you think if you are familiar with the terms, lifestyle or setting, but weren’t especially thought-provoking. I would very much consider “From Vegas With Blood”, a niché genre of fiction.

Description: They say that a new light shines in Las Vegas for every person who visits. But unlike the countless millions who visited Sin City this year, today you decided to be part of the ‘what happens’ that ‘stays’. After exploring the lights, you find a job as a salesperson at a kiosk on the Strip.

It’s your first night and Daniela is your trainer. She seems friendly providing you with the secrets on living and working in Sin City, but she possesses a quality that you can’t place. After quickly learning the job, Daniela gives you a special book containing eleven stories of love, mystery, and suspense-this book. As you read these stories, you begin to realize this book, Daniela, and the lights of Las Vegas are not what you imagined! Will your Vegas light shine Blood Red

Kindle Edition
Published February 5th 2011 by Pendan Publishing
ASIN: B004MDLXL6
Source: Author

Author Bio:

Jonathan Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is a Penn State University graduate and holds degrees in Computer Science and Film. He currently lives in Las Vegas where he uses the energy of the city to craft stories about life and the human condition. “The Place Called Home,” Sturak’s essay about Eastern European heritage in Northeast PA, was featured on Glass Cases, associate literary agent Sarah LaPolla’s pop culture blog at http://bigglasscases.blogspot.com His debut thriller novel “Clouded Rainbow” was published in December 2009. Sturak keeps updated information on his website at http://sturak.com

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Reviews