January 21, 2014

Review: “The Butterfly Papers,” a Short Story by Pepper Carlson

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 2 STARS

Genre: Fantasy

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Natália was used to keeping her own company and always traveling alone. As she headed to Los Angeles International Airport, the day seemed like any other day. She wasn’t traveling far, just an hour flight, and yet she was feeling something she couldn’t quite put her fingers on. There was a stirring deep within her daring her to step out of her comfort zone. She knew the Universe would collaborate in her favor the elements usually did. But she would soon learn there was more to her than meets the eye when a series of ordinary events would produce extraordinary circumstances.

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January 14, 2014

Review: “Paradox,” a Short Story by Mark Gardner

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 4 STARS

Genre: Science Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: What if you couldn’t die? How would you spend your eternity? Thousands of deaths and the only constant for Adam is a mysterious woman – and the knowledge that he saves a life every time he dies.

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January 7, 2014

Review: “The Man With A Plan,” a Short Story by Rick Haynes

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Fantasy

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Peter Simson is a late 30s nobody. He yearns to make something of his wasted life. A strange meeting with an odd looking stranger shows him the way. The Man, has a Plan. However Peter is drawn into the murky world of the unknown, as his personal roller-coaster takes him on an unforgettable journey to the very edge of the abyss. Who is The Man? Will his devious ideas lead to Peter achieving his desire, or will they corrupt the very essence of his existence? As the darker side of life rears its ugly head, you should heed the warning. Be careful what you wish for!

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December 31, 2013

Review: “Annabelle,” a Short Story by Nancy Christie

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Literary Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: We all have our fantasies—our hopes and dreams of what we want our future to be. But what happens when our fantasies are based on an erroneous interpretation of past events, when our hopes and dreams are so far from reality that they prevent us from having any kind of a normal life? A lonely young woman, all Annabelle wants is to love and be loved. But the twin emotions of fear and guilt, from a passion born on a summer day so many years ago, hold her fast.

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December 26, 2013

Review: “New Whirled Ordure,” a Short Story by J. Tanner

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Science Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Los Angeles is a wasteland. The Mayor, now Mayor For Life, rules from his archaic fortress built on the remains of an ancient amusement park. His genetically mutated minions have rebuilt the fortress from ruins so many times humanity has given up on bombing it and left the entire Los Angeles metropolitan area abandoned. Braddock and his team of cybernetically enhanced soldiers take it upon themselves to enter Los Angeles on foot, infiltrate the Mayor’s fortress, and put an end to his reign. Without a doubt, a suicide mission. Take a wild, satirical, violent ride along with Braddock as he fights his way through the amusement park toward a deadly confrontation with the Mayor himself and the surprising truth behind his empire.

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December 18, 2013

Review: “Lights In The City,” a Short Story by E.M. Noble

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 2 STARS

Genre: Science Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: On a normal run through a big city, a runner swats a fly. The fly grows in size and becomes so big that it blocks the sun. The people in the city are under attack! Rayna, a Recovery and Reevaluation technician, must decide if the city is worth saving. Will the humans prove themselves worthy of continuing life? Or will they doom themselves to a terrible fate?

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December 11, 2013

Featured Story: “Some Christmas Camouflage,” a Short Story by Elisabeth Grace Foley

by Jason Varrone

Genre: Historical Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: On a snowy December evening during the Great Depression, a high-spirited college student impulsively decides to do some spying on a quiet classmate—with unexpected results. A short story both funny and touching, in which mischief brings about a small Christmas miracle.

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December 6, 2013

Featured Collection: “Off The Kuf Volume One: Short Fiction From The Kindle Users Forum,” a Short Story Collection

by Jason Varrone

Genre: Multi-genre

Type of Collection: Short Story

Summary: Off the KUF Volume 1 is an anthology of short fiction, guaranteed to appeal to readers of all genres! Whether you’re a fan of mysteries, thrillers, historicals, romance, humour, literary fiction, horror or science fiction, Off the KUF will keep you entertained. Volume 1 brings together 30 quality stories by 25 highly talented authors. Some will be well-known to fans of the indie fiction scene, while others will be new discoveries. All may become firm favourites after sampling their storytelling skills. As well as short tales of varying lengths, this collection includes some drabbles – stories precisely 100 words long. So you can dip in and out as you wish, or consume the entire book from start to finish and be assured of an exciting degree of variety.

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December 4, 2013

Review: “First Time Buyers,” a Short Story by James Everington

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Horror

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Kat and Alex move into a new house…but they’re about to discover even new houses can be haunted. Outwardly confident and united, secretly they both harbor doubts about the economic situation, and each other. When Kat sees a pale figure in the mist fleeing from her behind their house, those doubts and fears are brought to light in a way both macabre and surreal.

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November 29, 2013

Featured Story: “The Cucumber King of Kėdainiai,” a Short Story by Wendell Mayo

by Jason Varrone

Mayo---Cover-Front (162x250)Genre: Literary Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Characters in Wendell Mayo’s collection, The Cucumber King of Kédainiai, are one of a kind.  A Lithuanian mafia boss strives to achieve world domination with black market cucumbers. A starving Russian artist discovers he can profit by selling paint-by-numbers portraits of former General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. Two spiders re-enact the Cold War years in the bathtub of an abandoned Soviet sanatorium. A woman is interrogated by former-KGB police about the whereabouts of an American she’s never met. A man trades a bag of cold fried pike for clues about his Lithuanian ancestors.  The concluding narrative, “The Universal Store,” assembles all in a kind of marketplace of the heart, where the new realities of an Eastern Europe adapting to change since the fall of the Berlin Wall emerge. These stories by turn are not only dark, comical, surreal—but feel terribly true.

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November 27, 2013

Review: “The Medusa Touch,” a Short Story in an Anthology by Sam Kates

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Horror

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Come celebrate Halloween in ways both spooky and fun in this collection of sixteen short stories spun by talented new voices in science fiction and fantasy.

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November 22, 2013

Featured Story: “She Fell From The Sky,” a Short Story by Tnae Wilcox

by Jason Varrone

Genre: Science Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Lois saved Phil when she found him, even though it was for no other reason than to use him. She never expected to sacrifice her own well-being just to be with him.

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November 20, 2013

Review: “The Collectors,” a Short Story by Ryan Thomas

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 2 STARS

Genre: Science Fiction

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: “I’ve caught another one!” Elizabeth shouted.

“Well done,” her father replied. “How many have you got now?”

“Seventeen.”

“That’s two more than I have.”

“They are funny little things, aren’t they?”

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November 18, 2013

A Guest Post by Derek Ryan – Kurt Vonnegut’s 2BR02B

by Jason Varrone

This is a guest post by Derek Ryan, a screenwriter looking to turn Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “2BR02B” into a film.

I’m sure all of you have heard of Kurt Vonnegut. He’s an icon. His novels are read all over the world. But when he was working at GE right after the war, he wrote short fiction on the side. My team and I are looking to turn one of his earliest short stories into a film. The story is called 2BR02B (to-be-or-naught-to-be). Basically, 2BR02B takes place in a world of strict population control, and in order for a family to have a child, the family must get someone to die. It’s a one-for-one situation. The government agency in charge of the killings is called the Federal Bureau of Termination.

Our main character, Edward Wehling, is about to have triplets. So he needs three people to die in order for them to be born and survive. The thing is, he doesn’t have any volunteers. A gun gets involved, and everything goes crazy. And, the best of all, Paul Giamatti wants to be in the film! This is a huge coup for us, and a testament to the story of 2BR02B, and Kurt Vonnegut’s amazing talent. So folks, to make the film, we are raising money. Please take a look at our page and contribute. Share it with whoever you can. This film is going to be a Vonnegut film done right.

2BR02B – the Short Story

Website

November 15, 2013

Featured Story: “City Of Rain,” a Novella by Hudson Owen

by Jason Varrone

Genre: Literary Fiction

Type of Story: Novella

Summary: It is raining in 1990s Brooklyn and young Beistrom the Cellist has just seen the woman of his dreams, pausing on her bike and smiling at him during lunch hour. Him! The race is on to find hot Therese before his temp assignment ends and he leaves the Heights, where the waitress-actress likely lives and where he types numbingly boring legal documents for a tiny law firm, to try and makes ends meet until he can find a paying gig. Each day during lunch he sallies forth in the pouring rain to find Therese, who has just left the coffee shop where they met. If only he knew her last name, phone number! In the evening, he returns to Park Slope and his cramped apartment with paper-thin walls. There he dries out and is consoled by Patches, his cat. In the few moments he has to play his beloved instrument, Beistrom puts bow to strings and makes beautiful, soulful music, hoping and praying for his one true love, for a better tomorrow and an end to the rain.

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November 13, 2013

Review: “The Dark Satin Of My Soul,” a Short Story by Nav Logan

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 2 STARS

Genre: Fantasy

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: This short story is a tribute to some of my passions in life: Movies, Dark Chocolate and Ice Cream. It’s about a man who is going about his normal humdrum existence. He is heading home from work, back to suburbia, when something unusual happens to him. For a brief moment, his grey life is filled with a kaleidoscope of colour. Hopefully, in the near future, they will throw away the 3D glasses and make cinema like this.

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November 8, 2013

Featured Collection: “Collected Sci-Fi Stories: Pack 1,” a Short Story Collection by Marco Guarda

by Jason Varrone

Genre: Science Fiction

Type of Collection: Short Story & Novelette

Summary: Collected Sci-Fi Stories Pack 1 contains the following previously released Sci-Fi short stories and novelettes:

1) “Merry Christmas, Mr. Babbers!”: Mr. Babbers will never forget today. He’s dispirited because he’s lost something precious, but he doesn’t know yet he will soon find something… A mind-blowing something.

2) “A Regrettable Oversight”: This is the first crazy adventure of Re-Life Associates salesman James Cricket, tackling lost love after a problematic rejuvenation.
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November 6, 2013

Review: “Sir Dudley Tinklebutton And The Dragon’s Lair,” a Short Story by T.J. Lantz

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Fantasy

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Sir Dudley is a shining example of true knightliness – he is always chivalrous to the ladies (provided they are young and attractive), he keeps his boots polished at all times (his squire’s job), and he never says no to a free drink (he deserves it). He has the perfect career – until one day when he steps foot in Candon, a battered village, besieged by a vicious dragon. Unable to figure a way out of the situation, Dudley soon finds himself face to face with the most deadly creature known to man. Sir Dudley Tinklebutton and the Dragon’s Lair is a comedic fantasy/adventure short story (6200 words). It contains very minor sexual innuendo, violence, and extreme hilarity. Perfect for ages 10 and up.

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October 30, 2013

Review: “Pryde’s Choice,” a Short Story by Kevis Hendrickson

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 4 STARS

Genre: Fantasy

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: After committing a horrible crime against the Gaiad, the eternal guardians of the woods, a remorseful knight is forced to confront his demons. Pryde’s Choice is a heroic tale of redemption and hope reminding us that it’s never too late to make amends for the past.

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October 23, 2013

Review: “The Hard-Boiled Detective No 3: Simeon Von Runck,” a Short Story by Ben Solomon

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 3 STARS

Genre: Mystery

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Have you ever planned a murder?” That’s one hell of an opener. And it makes for one hell of a party game. Or is it a game? The gumshoe expected to discuss a potential case. Instead, he’s handed a life and death puzzle.

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