Book Title: Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 27
Editor: Jessica West
Publication Date: October 6, 2018
Available on: Amazon as an eBook and a paperback
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
In this twenty-seventh edition of the Canyons of the Damned series, we are presented with four unusual short stories about unexpected and odd stories. Each one presents an atmosphere that engulfs you in its world, from a forlorn man to a survivor on a deserted island and to copies of humans in a devastating future and even a man with faulty memories. Find out more about these engrossing stories, starting with:
Desmond Warzel’s “Human Wheels Spin Round and Round” – When our narrator’s wife leaves him, he goes into an emotional tailspin, revisiting locations significant to their former relationship. But something unusual happens next and you will never guess where the story leads. A short but funny tale of a broken man and how others view him as he mopes about the sad state of his life.
Lorna Wood’s “Birds of a Feather” – Trapped on an island, a woman struggles to survive and build a shelter. But when a large black bird starts harassing her, what will happen next? It’s a strange and horrific tale that is compelling by the dilemma she faces and features a surprising ending.
David Alan Jones – “SNAFU64” – After X-Day, humans find a way to survive a post-apocalyptic landscape by making copies of themselves, called exponents, to perpetuate the survival of the human race. But when 2-Patti finds out 1-Patti has been taken by a mysterious church group, can she find her? It’s a remarkable premise and the author executes it with style along with a captivating plot. The author also deftly integrates themes about identity and destiny based on genetics and how that plays a role in their current society. Just an engaging and twisty story where you never know where it will go.
Daniel Arthur Smith’s “Room C” – A man is going to a doctors office but doesn’t seem to remember why’s he’s there. All he knows is that the neural lace embedded in his brain led him here. But what strange things led him to be there? The author’s skill in building the mystery and making even the most mundane moments in a doctor’s office feel off-kilter makes the surprising payoff that much more satisfying. This story also takes place in the author’s Spectral Worlds universe, a meld of cyberpunk and science into a dystopian future that I continue to enjoy.
Three out of the four authors in this collection are new to me but all of them had wonderful stories that were engaging and delightful to read. No matter whether the author is new to me or if it’s someone I’ve read before, I know that when I open an issue of Canyons of the Damned, the stories will be of a high caliber, will immerse me in their worlds and impress me with their storytelling prowess.
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Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories published by Daniel Arthur Smith include “Attack of the Kung Fu Mummies“, “Gazer: A Spectral Worlds Story“, “Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 34, No. 33, No. 32, No. 31, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, Omnibus 9 & Omnibus 10.”