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review 2018-07-17 21:49
One Sentence Review – The Sea Was A Fair Master – Calvin Demmer @CalvinDemmer
The Sea Was a Fair Master - Calvin Demmer

 

I love anything to do with water, so when I saw the title, The Sea Was A Fair Master, I had to see what these 23 short stories by Calvin Demmer were about. I look forward to some thrills and chills and invite you to join me.

 

The Sea Was a Fair Master

 

Goodreads

 

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | Italy | Spain | France | Japan | Brazil | Mexico | India | The Netherlands

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MY REVIEW

 

Nowhere is safe in these 23 flash fiction pieces where the sea rules and it won’t let you forget it, but there is so much more – zombies, The Peeper is a fave, love that Krampus made an appearance, proves that clowns are creepy, your not so run of the mill murders – from Heaven to Hell and back again there is something for everyone in these quick yet chilling snippets of life in the world of horror that are written with humor, wit and a bit of the macabre and I found myself smiling at these stories that prove a few well written words can scare your pants off.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Sea Is A Fair Master by Calvin Demmer.

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY CALVIN DEMMER REVIEWS

 

Hardened Hearts

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/one-sentence-review-the-sea-was-a-fair-master-calvin-demmer-calvindemmer
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review 2018-07-08 10:19
Unnatural Creatures
Unnatural Creatures - Maria Dahvana Headley,Neil Gaiman

edited by Neil Gaiman

 

This is a collection of mostly excellent stories edited by Neil Gaiman. Naturally the quality of writing is set to a high bar and I enjoyed most of them very much. Except for Gaimans own contribution, they are all previously published somewhere, one as far back as 1909! Many are by known authors, though I'm not familiar with a lot of them.

 

Ironically, the first one I thought was a little slow was Gaiman's own story, which was number 12 and followed by a werewolf story that was a favorite of his, but I couldn't get into it. The theme of the anthology is strange and mythological creatures. Each story has at least one of these unnatural beasties. Or something close to it. The second to last one was a stand-out for an original approach to this theme and very well written.

 

As anthologies go, this was very high quality, but what else could you expect from Neil Gaiman?

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review 2018-06-12 21:38
California Creatures by Clasman & Anthony
California Creatures - David Anthony,Charles David Clasman

Note: Even though this is Book #3 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

This is another great collection of spooky tales for the whole family. I expected great things from this book since Frightening Florida was so wonderful and I was not disappointed. Some tales are based on local myths or legends while others have a more modern bend to them.

A few of the tales stood out for me. I loved the tale that have grandparents who claim to be monster hunters (The Boot). I didn’t know until the very end whether the grandparents were going to be heroes or villains. I also loved the opening tale (Tar Pit Terror) because who doesn’t love a scary story that features a skeleton and this skeleton comes out of a smelly, gooey pit. Toll to the Troll was also awesome. I will never look at Alcatraz the same way again.

This collection of tales has a good balance of humor and scary. For instance, The Man in the Gray Suit had me laughing over the corny surfer slang. Often the various characters, almost all of which are kids, tease each other adding a few chuckles to even the scariest stories.

California Creatures is great for all ages as any sad ending to the heroes is left off scene and merely implied in the ending. I liked that most tales left things open ended so I can imagine my favorite heroes escaping at the last second… or being eaten or such if I felt they needed a dramatic ending.

The collection is full of little surprises. A dragon!?! Some weird fountain of youth? A zoo for movie monsters? The authors’s imaginations are on full display with these tales. 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Neil Holmes gave another great performance. I love his range of voices, from little girl to gruff grandma to questionable security guard to impatient troll – he has a different voice for them all. His female voices were feminine and his little kid voices were well done. I loved all his emotion too, especially for the scared surfers. I did notice a few small technical issues with the recording – a few times I think I heard paper rustling and once there was a line that partially overlayed another line. None of these small issues detracted from my enjoyment of the book. 4.5/5 stars.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-11 20:59
Star Trek: Tales of the Dominion War by var.
Tales of the Dominion War - Keith R.A. DeCandido

Another anthology - this time the common factor is the Dominion War... and what practically every crew ever shown in TV or TrekLit was up to in that time.

 

Michael Jan Friedman's What Dreams May Come focuses on Gilaad Ben Zoma, Picard's former first officer on the Stargazer... rather unmemorable, maybe because it's been so very long since I've read the Stargazer books.

 

Night of the Vulture by Greg Cox follows up on the entity which thrived on dissent and conflict, first shown in TOS' Day of the Dove. Nice idea, but ultimately also not exactly memorable.

 

Keith R. A. DeCandido's The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned is set on Betazed right at the moment of the Dominion invasion. Usually I'm not really a fan of Lwaxana, but this story rang true, all the emotions, the terror, the incredulity that the Dominion would take such a daring step (and the Federation's being caught ill-prepared)... It also fits in with "The Battle of Betazed", a novel about the occupation and liberation of Betazed. Well done.

 

Blood Sacrifice by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz shows Spock on Romulus during In the Pale Moonlight...a Romulus that still contemplates an alliance with the Dominion until the Emperor suddenly dies. A fine glimpse back into the worldbuilding the 2 authors did with their "Vulcan's (noun)"-series.

 

Mirror Eyes by Heather Jarman & Jeffrey Lang is about the outbreak of a disease on Bajor... and only a nurse, presumed Vulcan but actually a Romulan sleeper, can provide the cure. Not exactly exciting.

 

Twilight's Wrath by David Mack highlights Shinzon, turning a suicide mission into success. Actually very good - Mack-like bloody and violent, but also an intriguing tale of oppression, hatred and revenge.

 

Eleven Hours Out by Dave Galanter focuses on Picard and Troi during the Breen attack on Earth... immemorable.

 

Safe Harbors by Howard Weinstein takes place at the same time when Scotty and McCoy are stuck on a semi-hostile planet, reluctant to help with repairs, with a damaged ship when contact to Earth breaks up. Better... but a bit contrived. Or is it really believable that these 2 are on the same ship just at that moment?

 

Field Expediency by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore has SCE's Duffy and Stevens on a planet to retrieve some Dominion gadget from a downed ship when the Jem'Hadar attack. Good read, but still not too different from the early SCE... in short, doesn't tell us anything new about the characters.

 

Haven' read Robert Greenberger's A Song Well Sung - if not absolutely necessary, I won't voluntarily read about Klingons.

 

Zak Kebron tells his son the "heroics" of the Excalibur during the Dominion War in Peter David's Stone Cold Truths... nice tale, definitely one of the highlights, and a nice ring back to a time when I still liked TNF (i.e. up to Dark Alles).

 

Michael A Martin & Andy Mangels' Requital focuses on one of the soldiers in AR-558 who can't just forgive and forget, and is recruited by an equally disillusioned Cardassian to assassinate the Founder after the war's end. Interesting and quite disturbing - especially the apparent lack of psychological aid.

 

Overall, a couple of highlights, the rest mediocre, unfortunately. Still, it was nice to read stories of authors that I haven't seen in modern TrekLit for a decade or so. So much has changed in the production line since the early 2000s when this anthology was published...

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-09 21:08
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Prophecy and Change by var.
Prophecy and Change - Marco Palmieri,Andrew J. Robinson,Kevin G. Summers,Geoffrey Thorne,Una McCormack,Michael A. Martin,Andy Mangels,Keith R.A. DeCandido,Christopher L. Bennett,Terri Osborne,Heather Jarman,Jeffrey Lang

This is an anthology, framed by an alternate version of "The Visitor" (i.e. without the desperate struggle to save his father) where Jake shows his visitor his new book, a collection of short stories set on and around Deep Space Nine.

 

Ha'mara by Kevin G. Summers is set right after "Emissary". Sisko, Jake and Kira visit Bajor and the Kai, all not really sure (or even resentful) of Sisko's new role in Bajoran society. Sisko and Kira are stuck underground after a resistance ammunition depot blows up and learn to work together. Quite a nice story, but doesn't actually tell us something the series didn't (as Kira and Sisko still continue to struggle and antagonize right till the end of season 1).

 

The Orb of Opportunity by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels continues on from "Life Support" and involves Nog into Winn's mission to retrieve another orb of the prophets. Nog begins to see that there's more to life than just business and greed - and thus starts his way to Starfleet. And it's nice to actually see a more positive side to Winn, especially after Bareil's death.

 

Broken Oaths by Keith R. A. DeCandido shows Bashir and O'Brien's reconciliation after the events of "Hippocratic Oath". Also nicely done, but not quite memorable.

 

Didn't finish Christopher L. Bennett's ... Loved I not Honor more - don't like his writing style, and have never liked Grilka or Quark.

 

Three Sides to every story by Terri Osborne is set during the first 6 episodes of season 6. Jake tried to get a story for the FNS approved by Weyoun and decides to do a feature on Ziyal. What starts out as professional interest turns to friendship and a glimpse into the mind of a girl who's not welcome on either of her 2 homeworlds. Nicely done. I have to say, Ziyal was a part of the DS9 family for so short a time, but she's left an impact... actually more of an impact characters starting with Kira, to Garak, Damar and of course Dukat. And these turned out to be the most interesting characters of the whole series to be honest.

 

The Devil You Know by Heather Jarman has Jadzia face her demons when she and a Romulan scientist start to work on a genetic weapon against the Jem'Hadar. Not sure how believable this story is, to be honest. Granted, the war drags on and Jadzia sees ever more friends on the missing or KIA-lists. But to have her almost construct a weapon of genocide? That's a bit too farfetched.

 

Foundlings by Jeffrey Lang confronts Odo with the former Cardassian chief of security of Terok Nor when he comes to investigate the disappearance of a freighter - which turns out to be the first step in establishing a route for Cardassian refugees out of Dominion space. Well written, but not really memorable, either.

 

Chiaroscuro by Geoffrey Thorne has Ezri face the survivor of a mission gone horribly wrong back when Jadzia was just out of the academy. Frankly, I didn't really get what the machine was all about. Reminded me a bit of V'Ger in Star Trek TMP in the device's wish to connect with some kind fo master - a device that's designed to sort of restart the universe when the energy of the Big Bang's kind of burned itself out. One of the worse stories in this anthology.

 

Face Value by Una McCormack is set on Cardassia during the final episodes of the series. Damar, Garak and Kira all have to face old prejudice (positive and negative), deal with betrayal and loss - and form mutual respect. Easily the best story of this collection, and it shows (even in this early work of hers) why McCormack is the specialist on the Cardassian mindset.

 

I was especially looking forward to The Calling by Andrew J. Robinson, a follow-up to his "Stitch in Time". But quite honestly, I was disappointed. First of all, it's kind of the sequel to a stage performance he and Siddig played on conventions, so makes references to events that aren't available in written form. And it's a bit too esoteric for my taste, reality and some sort of vision (when he searches out Palandine's daughter with the Oralian Way) getting mixed up. So, as I said, a major downlet.

 

Overall, a rather average anthology.

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