The Crimson Meniscus, 7 Mind-Blowing Sci-Fi Stories from the Bubble by Jason Werbeloff did not disappoint. I've enjoyed this author's writing for a while and although some of it is a touch creepy, it's nevertheless intriguing. I gave it five stars.
Manufacturing Margaret is an intriguing science fiction/futuristic story about an android named Margaret.
"But my speech routines aren't programmed to express such thoughts. Instead, I find myself blurting my only programmed response to these situations. 'Please note that all activities in this cab are recorded.'"
Margaret drives a cab and observes thousands of humans. "I fly over Canal Street, parallel to the river, as though my grav motors are propelled by the spirits of the humans coursing through the thoroughfare below. From up here they look like an army of blood cells pumping through an artery."
Margaret discusses her increasing consciousness. "It's strange to think that everyone, everything, had a first moment of awareness. A point before which nothing was, and after which nothing would ever be the same."
Investing Isobella begins on a puzzling note. "'Look,' he says, 'I'm not going to lie to you, Paul. There's a risk. Sure.'
Jono Falanges slicks back his hair--his fingers leave track marks through the grease. He interlaces his hands behind his head. Stretches.
He knows I'm waiting with a thundering heart. Knows he has my full attention. I'm a desperate man."
It is a creepy tale indeed.
Oscillating Olaf tries to remain in an erotic dream but is interrupted by a phone call. He then has a sense of deju vu when the Roach called. Everything is going wrong. "My jaw was so tight, my teeth sang." He was learning to oscillate between two phases simultaneously. He was receiving messages from the future. A nice surprise twist at the end.
Patenting Peter is married to Cassandra who has what he called 'Lizard Eyes'. "Her gaze tore off me like a waxing strip. Landed on the frayed edge of the fedora on my head." She hated when he wore his father's hat.
His neighbor, Misaki with whom he had been flirting over the past few months as she came to borrow items arrived to borrow milk. He grabbed her wrist. "In the confusion, Misaki dropped the milk, which erupted in an ic spray over my naked feet. It took every fiber of my masculinity not to squeal."
Severing Sidney is an intriguing story about Geppetto's daughter Simona's merging with Neville. It's hauntingly poignant.
Aborting Andromeda is a twisted tale that is unusual to say the least. Christian works for the post-natal abortion clinic. A lovely surprise ending.
Defragmenting Daniel is a mesmerizing, yet somewhat creepy book. I gave it five stars.
"After six years working in the Organ Farm, Daniel still didn’t know why it was green – the Rejek they pumped through the organs. They’d said something in class about photosynthesis. All Daniel knew for sure was that after you ran Rejek through an organ, it was good for transplant."
Even those who work with harvesting organs have had many of their own taken away. "The knee was cybernetic, and you’d think it wouldn’t mind the cold. But ever since they’d harvested it when Daniel was nine, winters had been difficult. It was summer now, but the cold air in Administration wasn’t helping."
Daniel changed after they removed a segment of his brain. "He counted the full 49 seconds this time. Didn't feel the icy jets on his back. Daniel stood resolute against the arti spray. Even as the tears streaked down his cheeks, his mind tucked into itself. Numbed within a crease of a fold of a distant dream."
I received a complimentary copy from the author. That did not change my opinion for this review.
Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073PNRHK3