Short Story Corner: The Utopia Syndrome by John Gregory Hancock & Echo Dome by Bob Williams

Short Story Title: The Utopia Syndrome

Author: John Gregory Hancock

Publication Date: May 2, 2015

Available on: Amazon as an eBook

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


When a technological breakthrough in optic technology positively impacts all of society, it enhances everyone’s lives in unexpected ways. One of the results of this is that people now have lidvids, video screens on the underside of their eyelids. The technology has become pervasive and it’s been integrated into all aspects of society, from being installed in cars to being wired into a person’s brain.

From Soon Yi trying to regain sight after being blind for her whole life to a single mother named Marie trying to get rid of her shingles, we see the story unfold from their perspectives. But when a doctor makes a dreadful discovery, what will happen to the world?

jgh - utopiaThis is a short story but there’s a lot packed into just a few pages, as the author creates distinctive characters you care for, fleshes them out and integrates them into the ongoing plot. How these events affect each of them in very different ways is one of the absorbing aspects of the story. There are some surprising and disturbing twists and turns here that make for fascinating reading.

What also grabbed me is the unique premise of a world this close to utopia, having cured society’s ills while still working to eliminate all problems completely. This society provides assistance to the unfortunate who are unable to take care of themselves on their own, providing a good life for all. They are still working on a cure for shingles though but overall, its citizens lead productive and good lives. This is an idealized world made real and it’s refreshing to see this concept in a story.

It’s a brief, fast-paced tale with a punch, a plot that drives you forward and characters that you can invest in. I would love to see this world fleshed out more if the author was inclined to do so as there is plenty of story potential here. But for this tale, there is just enough to grab your interest, pull you in and take you on an unpredictable journey. A very enjoyable story!

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: Echo Dome

Author: Bob Williams

Publication Date: January 23, 2019

Available on: Amazon as an eBook

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Diamond is showing Ranger around his sector for a good time, as part of making a business deal. But when Diamond introduces him to the Echo Dome, a ferocious sport like no other, what will happen?

The mystery of this sport is compelling and the more I read, the more I was entranced with the innovation and ingenuity behind it. It’s a sport that has painful and psychological ramifications when a powerful attack succeeds. The results made me wince in pain as if I was the one who got attacked by an opponent.

This intriguing concept suspensefully told its bw-echo dometale that enveloped me in its bold storytelling. I did not know what would happen next and was left surprised with each passing page and at its brutal conclusion. It’s sports taken to an all-new and unexpected level!

I read this short story when it was originally published in “Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 23“, a short story collection filled with enthralling stories about sports just like this one.

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.

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories written by Bob Williams include “Mara“, “Lost Dog: A Short Story of Evil” and “Those Were my Friends.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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