Short Story Corner: Lost Hope by Eric Tozzi & On the Protean Shore by Anthony Vicino

Book Title: Lost Hope 

Author: Eric Tozzi

Editor: Michael Ziffer

Publication Date: June 5, 2018

Available on: Amazon as an eBook 

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


On an important mission to establish a colony on Earth Proxima, Adam and his crew are woken out of hypersleep due to an unusual emergency. What they slowly discover is that something has gone drastically wrong! Is there anything they can do to fix the problem or will they all die?

The sense of dread slowly creeping up my spine as they explored how bad their problem was really got under my skin, ratcheting up the suspense with each passing page. It was made palpable and I could feel the heavy weight of their situation hang over my head. I hoped along with them that they could figure this out. And I despaired with them as their situation grew ever bleaker with each passing moment.

There is also the central mystery as to why this lhhappened and the conundrum around this question was what drove the story forward. The answers to these questions unspooled over time, drawing me into the story and making me wonder with the crew what had befallen them. The answers I received were captivating and exhilarating, filling me with a sense of wonder as I reached the end. It was truly unexpected and filled with plenty of surprising revelations.

This short story perfectly captures the feel and experience of being in space and all the inherent dangers that come with it. From using science and intelligence to try to work the problem, to attacking the issue from multiple angles, this disparate crew is made up of many different personalities united with one purposeful mission.

Finally, many kudos for the hauntingly forlorn cover that perfectly captures the tone of this short story. It is a work of art in and of itself.

I’ve read this author before and he perfectly blends thrills and science fiction into an excellent short story that immersed me in its world.

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.


Book Title: On The Protean Shore: An Intergalactic Short Story

Author: Anthony Vicino

Publication Date: March 1, 2018

Available on: Amazon as an eBook

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Riley lost his father, a hero whose actions have been tainted in the public eye. Faced with trying to keep him alive after death, he grapples with his decision and the way he’s living his life as a result. Meanwhile, onboard the Indigo Moon, Taryn, and her crew travel the atmosphere of Protean hunting a massive Titan. But Grim, Taryn’s paramour, has a dark past that haunts him. When tragedy strikes during the hunt, will Grim survive?

otpsOn the surface, this looks like a future with strange and wondrous things. A digital life after experiencing physical death? Mining a rare valuable gas from a creature who lives on a distant planet? These are both interesting concepts on their own, so much so that one concept could easily fill a story all by itself. But combined, they are more than the sum of their parts.

While each storyline is illuminating and exciting, it’s the underlying emotional struggle each protagonist is going through that really engaged me on a visceral level. By the time I reached the end, that strong sense of loss and despair this story brought out resonated deeply. The masterful surprises here left me reeling with their jaw-dropping revelations. The level of humanity and feeling in this story combined with the science fiction aspects of it made for a deliciously satisfying tale that hit home with me.

The deft use of the dual storylines, each character’s plight, the imaginative concepts, and the storytelling prowess were delightful and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I could easily have read more about each of these worlds and their characters. But the story is definitely complete and yet left me wanting more. This is a perfectly terrific tale.

No short story has a right to be this good. But thankfully, it is.

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.

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