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?”
“That’s two more than I have.”
“They are funny little things, aren’t they?”
“Yes, Elizabeth, they’re quite peculiar.”
Elizabeth peered into her jar. “I can’t tell which ones are male and which are female.”
“It’s not easy but with a little experience you’ll soon be able to. When we get home I’ll show you how to asphyxiate them and you can put them in your new display cabinet.”
“Daddy, what did you say they are called again?”
“Humans, Elizabeth, they’re called humans.”
Review: Ryan Thomas’s “The Collectors” is a tale with a unique premise, where an alien father and daughter collect humans to study.
This short story started off wonderfully. I enjoyed the first few pages as the story had tons of potential. The opportunity existed for the author to delve into the culture of human beings from the outside looking in. A discussion about our tendency toward violence and greed would have been appropriate, as the aliens watched and researched us from afar. Unfortunately this opportunity was lost and the story took a disappointing turn and did not improve from there. Nothing of real significance happened after the initial introduction. The ending also lent to the disappointment because it came out of the blue with little set-up.
In addition, there were several instances of run-on sentences that took away from the story. Ryan Thomas received Short Fiction Spotlight’s first five-star review, but this story did not live up to that standard.