* Received from the author for review
5 out of 5 gnomes
This anthology is so much fun and has a wide range of authors and themes. There is plenty to love and only one story or so that made me say WTF. The little illustrations throughout the book are awesome too.
Here’s what I thought of the different stories:
On the Efficacy of Supervillain Battles in Eliciting Therapeutic Breakthroughs by Jim C. Hines
Love this story and Puff’s unique take on being a superhero. Jarhead was great too and his whole deal kind of reminded me of Futurama.
Favorite Quotes: “It’s like they don’t know what to do with a problem they can’t blow up or feed to a shark.”
“Never underestimate the appetite of a blowfish or a teenager.”
The Right Answer by James A. Miller
This was a great look at the whole visiting alien trope and the ending was good.
Favorite Quotes: “Whether this was an alcohol induced fantasy or plain old reality, I decided I had plenty of free time to roll with it.”
“Humor has the ability to cure your planet of its ailments.”
The Gefilte Fish Girl by Mike Resnick
Funny look at a mother/son relationship with a great ocean twist.
Master of Business Apocalypse by Jakob Drud
Workplace drama taken to a magical level. Would make for an awesome TV show.
Carla at the Off-Planet Tax Return Helpline by Caroline M. Yoachim
Call center plus off planet taxes plus IT support equals pretty darn funny.
Favorite Quotes: “I will eat the extras. Thank you.”
Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes on the Day I Graduated High School by Nathaniel Lee
I love the title of this one, that alone made me want to read it. Now this was an awesome short story. Love the whole angels aspect of it all and having to choose. That is also a tremendous last line.
Favorite Quotes: “Everyone else was kind of looking the other way. Fiddling with their cell phones. Avoiding eye contact. You know, like you do around angels.”
Company Store by Robert Silverberg
Such an interesting take on the whole traveling salesman approach. I like their interactions and the solution they come up with.
The Door-to-Door Salesthing from Planet X by Josh Vogt
The tone of this one is great, reminded me a little bit of a bad infomercial.
Favorite Quotes: “Sadness abounds.”
Picture Perfect by Matt Mikalatos
Puns aplenty plus a vampire equals pretty darn funny.
Favorite Quotes: “But ghosts are surprisingly resilient.”
The Discounted Seniors by James Beamon
A look at what future nursing homes might bring and also has some great characters.
That Must Be Them Now by Karen Haber
Great story and I could so see humans just missing out on seeing alien life.
Notes to My Past And/or Alternate Selves by Sarah Pinsker
Short but sweet and really tells a whole story in so few words.
The Real and the Really Real by Tim Pratt
Great story about robots and what may or may not be real.
Into the Woods, with Zombunny by Camille Griep
Now that was quite an interesting take on a fairy tale.
Live at the Scene by Gini Koch
Great look at how TV news might inform people of an alien invasion and really funny too.
The Newsboy’s Last Stand by Krystal Claxton
This story is so darn cute, it kind of feels like a fairy tale. One of my favorites that I read in this anthology.
Favorite Quotes: “Now, as you’ve all heard before, girls make everything better. But that isn’t exactly accurate. Because girls are not magical, they’re really very much like men in that they can be good or bad, but are mostly mediocre.”
“It seemed ridiculous, but, sometimes life is worthy of ridicule.”
“But it did make everyone equally inconvenienced, and that’s really the core of a good compromise, don’t you think?”
The Full Lazenby by Jeremy Butler
Such a cool take on genetics and James Bond and other properties.
Favorite Quotes: “Quit Bond after one adventure? That is so Lazenby.”
Do Not Remove This Tag by Piers Anthony
Piers Anthony is as always strange/funny. Liked this look at magic.
Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day! by Tina Connolly
Now this is a fun story/great take on super powers. Plus now I want to know more about this super powered preschool.
The Choochoomorphosis by Oliver Buckram
WHAT WAS THAT...weird+weird=weird. Quite the dream…
The Fate Worse than Death by Kevin J. Anderson and Guy Anthony De Marco
Dracula is always a fun character to see twisted around.
Elections at Villa Encantada by Cat Rambo
Gives neighborhood associations a new look. Liked the ending.
Infinite Drive by Jody Lynn Nye
Nice look at a futuristic/alien mystery.