Short Story Review – The Moment by Lawrence M. Schoen

The Moment is a 10-page Science Fiction short story. The story begins with an archaeocaster named Cwaliheema who seeks to broadcast about the Mark and the long lost story of its origin and the race of people involved, but before it can complete its transmission, it is snuffed out. Over time, others come to the same moon to witness the Mark and try to understand all that has occurred on the moon since the discovery of the Mark – a race of clones known as the Krenn, mere specks who eventually kill themselves in a horrible war; Seela, a broccoli-stalk king of the Vegetable World who sucks up the remnants of the dead Krenn, only to be poisoned by them and dies; a peer review chorus from the Trindle Journal of Medical Profundities who complete their job and disperse; a library protocol who fails to recognize it has become obsolete in its pursuit of the Moon, the Mark and all who’ve come before it to that place, and is eventually erased from lack of interest and funding; auditing particulates who arrive after no trace is left of the events on the Moon with the exception of the Mark, and whose audit takes far too long and yields nothing of significance, but stories of it later become folklore; and lastly, a coterie of proto-godlings led by a liquid hydrogen tutor. The Mark creates The Moment, an event of extreme importance, as explained by the tutor.

Schoen is a masterful story-teller. He weaves words like fine cloth, creating intricate, detailed suits of events. He takes seemingly unlikely things and creates believable beings out of them full of life – lives that end in tragedies and disappointments.

The story is told like an unfolding folktale, rich in poetic language that will leave you in awe. This is a story to be read again and again, to slowly savor bit by bit until you’ve devoured it completely, satiated by its beauty.

Rating: 5 Stars

Genre: Science Fiction

To Read: If you’d like to read the story, please contact and follow Lawrence on Twitter @klingonguy. He will gladly direct you to a free copy of it.

Book Review – Lester’s Keeper by George Holm

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Lester’s Keeper is an erotic horror short story told from the point of view of Lester – an egotistical, self-absorbed 25 year old. Lester rarely maintains relationships with women, discarding them often. He is about to do the same with his current girlfriend, Maggie. Only, he has one more thing he wishes for Maggie to do for him before he discards her. Lester wants to be a voyeur while Maggie has sex with another man. And he gets his chance when, through a friend of Maggie’s, he learns of an exclusive sex club. Lester’s excitement and enthusiasm gets thwarted as he soon realizes exactly what happens at this sex club. Sorry, I won’t give further details. You will have to read the short story to get all the gory, horror-filled details.

Holm did an excellent job with the characters in this story. Lester is as disgusting a character as one can create. You learn that he really is a dislikeable, narcissistic jerk through his actions, inner dialogue and the way he treats people. Maggie is quiet, demure and all too willing to go along with Lester’s plan. You’d never suspect what a schemer she turns out to be. And of course, Mrs. Knight is a dominating, impressive figure in the story.

Holm also has a way with descriptive language. He presents an unusual dichotomy between the beautiful, descriptive scenery of the drive to the club and their arrival, and the shocking, descriptive sex-ridden horror scenes. I came away from the story in awe of so much beauty and at the same time, such ugliness.

My only complaint with the story is that it needs a little technical revision. Sometimes Holm left off conversation quote tags, but this is such a minor thing and did not detract from the story.

Fair warning, there are descriptions of sex scenes in this story and some foul language. While these do not bother me, they may bother some readers.

Rating: 5 star

Genre(s): Erotica, Horror

To Purchase: Kobo (free) | Author’s Website (free) | Amazon

Book Review – Refugee Road (Freedom Fighters #1) by Nikki Landis

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Refugee Road is the first book in the Freedom Fighters series, set in an alternate history of a war torn United States. Lizzie lost everything in the war – her mother, sister and her best friend. Now she is a refugee, fighting along side a small band of freedom fighters, led by a man named Darren who is not only the leader, but a vengeful, dangerous man. Along the way, you meet Mal who is like a big brother to Lizzie and Alec, a man she met once before the war and who becomes Lizzie’s whole world. Alec is a member of the militia, the sworn enemy of the refugees.

What I love most about this book is how rich the characters are. Landis has created characters so believable that you cannot help but care about them, even her villains, Darren and Donnovan (who is only a villain for a short while). As much as you want to cheer for Lizzie, Alec and Mal, you also want to see them defeat Darren and Donnovan.

Landis has also done an excellent job with settings. Her descriptions put you right there in each scene, in the cold and dark, shivering in the mud, or warm and safe in a temporary shelter. There is one terrifying scene that she does exceptionally well – when Lizzie is beaten.

I will confess, I do not generally read romances. What set this one apart is the alternate history and dystopia nature of the story. The romantic scenes in the story are sweet in nature. A bit overly mushy, but told in a gentle manner. If you enjoy sweet romances, you will definitely enjoy this one.

My only criticism for this story is that while it began with a lot of action and suspense, it did slack off in the middle. This is probably just my own reaction since I do not read a lot of romances because all the romance happened in the middle. By then end of the book, the action did pick up again.

The last scene in the book is definitely a lead-in to the next book in the series titled Midnight Surrender, which I will now have to read to see how Lizzie gets out of that situation.

I am not going to rate this story negatively just because of the slow, romantic part in the middle. As I said, I don’t normally read romances, so for me, it was slow. For others though, it might actually be the best part of the story.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre(s): Alternate History/Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance

To Purchase: Amazon