Book Title: Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 22
Authors: Robert Jeschonek, Nathan M. Beauchamp, Jessica West & Daniel Arthur Smith
Editor: Jessica West
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Available on: Amazon as an eBook and a paperback
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Love, exciting and new… come aboard the twenty-second edition of Canyons with tales of love so zany and unusual, you can’t help but be absorbed by the storytelling prowess on display here. In the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are four special tales showcasing the depths of love, starting with:
Robert Jeschonek’s “Dirty Dreams of a Dishwasher” – Mack is a repairman who specializes in home appliances with artificial intelligence built in. When Quinn, a beautiful young woman, calls him for help, he gets in way over his head as one after another, things begin to go awry. Will he be able to fix it all in time? Love is in the air… for everything in Quinn’s home!
This is an outrageous tale that had me in hysterics and it’s probably the funniest love story I’ve ever read, bar none. Given the colorful and sexual dialogue from each of these appliances, they all sounded like Isaac Hayes with his low baritone voice (!). And the conclusion to this tale was ingenious and made me grin at its complete uproariousness.
Nathan M. Beauchamp’s “Twisterville” – Allan lives in a home that’s been held aloft in a tornado for a long time. But when he sees an Airstream trailer fly through the air and pull up in the midst of the storm, he meets Cindy and they form a connection. But what happens when a competitor for Cindy’s affection gets vengeful?
This is an imaginative tale filled with scares and an innovative fight in the middle of a tornado that was heart-stopping and gripping. I also enjoyed their musings on why the tornado itself “chose” them over other people and why as well as the society that develops because they are all riding along inside the tornado together.
Jessica West’s “A Heart for Mariah” – Medic Alpha 3, known as MA3, is a sentient android helping out in a hospital. Abused by his boss and treated like dirt, he feels something for Mariah’s precarious situation. What will he do to try to help her and why is her situation so dire?
As usual, the author pulls at my emotional heartstrings with this story. Thankfully, it doesn’t do so literally, based on the dark and deliciously devious turn it takes. It’s an unpredictably beautiful short story that packed an emotional gut-punch while also exploring the nature of humanity.
Daniel Arthur Smith’s “Love Day” – In the far future, Jacques and his wife Gillian are on a distant planet, awaiting the arrival of a ship bringing critical supplies for their colony. But when an asteroid threatens this ship, how will they respond? And why is this mission so important anyway?
An involving tale that provoked strong feelings and was filled with eventful surprises as it played out with a twist of an ending that left my jaw on the floor. This story takes place in the author’s rapidly expanding Spectral Shift (Spectral Worlds Book 1) universe, a meld of cyberpunk and science into a dystopian future that I continue to enjoy. It also has some subtle connections to the author’s story in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 21
Four affectionate yet disturbing and funny stories about love that made my heart race. From the funny to the macabre to tornadoes with towns in them to deep space, the breadth of the stories featured in the Canyons collections always amazes me with their tales. It’s my go-to series when I have a need for innovative, compelling and high-quality storytelling.
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Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories written by or published by Daniel Arthur Smith include “Clones: The Anthology“, “Klarissa Dreams Redux“, “Spectral Shift“, “Attack of the Kung Fu Mummies“, “Gazer: A Spectral Worlds Story“, “Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 37, No. 36, No. 35, No. 34, No. 33, No. 32, No. 31, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, Omnibus 9 & Omnibus 10.”