Short Story Corner: Brotherhood by Ian Garner & Gazer by Daniel Arthur Smith

Short Story Title: Brotherhood

Author: Ian Garner

Publication Date: June 16, 2017

Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as an audiobook

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Kit is living with his family in England during the bombing raids of World War II. After suffering from a couple of life-altering tragedies, he makes a major decision that will impact the direction of his life forever. But what does all of this have to do with the strange dreams he’s been having, filled with malicious brotherhoodcreatures? It’s a tale fraught with tension, family dysfunction and true terror that makes your eyes widen in surprise by the time all is revealed. Who doesn’t like a scary story filled with Nazi’s, werewolves and family secrets brought to light?

I originally read this story when it was published in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 7, a collection of short stories filled with unsettling and frightening tales just like this one!

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Ian Garner include “World Domination: A Supervillain Anthology.”

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.


Short Story Title: Gazer: A Spectral Worlds Story

Author: Daniel Arthur Smith

Narrator: Jessica West

Publication Date: November 8, 2017

Available on: Amazon as an eBook, a paperback and as an audiobook

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


In the future, Ginny is a young girl in the third grade living on Mars! Running a farm in the small town of Perta, Ginny’s family also breed Striders for racing purposes. A Strider is a three-meter tall lizard and Strider racing is one of the most popular pastimes in Perta. But when everyone gathers to experience the excitement of a Strider race, something nefarious happens! How will Ginny be able to help?

This is a mesmerizing slice-of-life tale about life on Mars, raising giant lizards with an engaging plot. The author enriches this story with all the little nuances and details that flesh out this world and enhance it. Things like trading cards about different spaceships gazerof the galaxy and how different a third-grade education is while living on a planet that’s not Earth. It also touches on how the different economic classes of the galaxy are illustrated. But it’s an unexpectedly touching coming-of-age story about Ginny and her affinity for handling striders while working on a farm.

This is considered a written transcript of an audiobook. The reason it is described like this is that it’s written in a dialect used by those living on Mars. The audiobook has a narrator using this dialect while this transcript is written phonetically to help you read it. It successfully brings this dialect alive as you do so, adding an extra immersive layer to the story.

As I read it, I imagined a tinge of a southern accent to the dialect. Also, the dialect is used to serve a subtle purpose in the story, as it adds characterization and culture to distinguish between certain people. It took a few pages to get used to the cadences of this dialect and how it’s written out but once you do, it easily becomes second nature and flows smoothly as you read it.

Also, this is a story that takes place in the authors Spectral Worlds universe, which are always a treat for me. I consider this universe to be unique and full of imaginative science fiction. While the more fantastical elements of that world are in the background here, the captivating storytelling is always spectral shiftat the forefront. It uses a previously unseen corner of the Spectral Worlds universe to tell an unusual tale of lizard racing on Mars.

But if you’ve never read any of the Spectral Worlds stories before, you’ll still be able to read this without feeling like you’re missing something crucial. Overall, this is a charming tale that blends all of these details together into one fascinating story, told in an intriguing way.

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories published by Daniel Arthur Smith include “Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 34No. 33, No. 32, No. 31, No. 30, Omnibus 9” and “Attack of the Kung Fu Mummies.”

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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