Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

"The Extinction of Fairytales" by Jacob M. Appel

"The Extinction of Fairytales" by Jacob M. Appel
This story comes from the collection "Scouting for the Reaper" written by Jacob M. Appel.
Zooom... We're heading back to 1967.  A professional fairytale folklorist, Edie Cosgrove, gets an insurance payout from her parents death.  With the money she decides to buy a house in the suburbs.  Upon the first few days, on a Tuesday, that she is moving into the house a black man comes knocking on her door.  When she answers the door the man introduces himself as Sammy.  He is there to cut her grass.
She assumes that he has been cutting the grass for the previous owner of the house and decides to keep Sammy on as the landscaper.  They come to an agreement on price for his work and he sets about cutting her grass.  Every Tuesday for 37 years Sammy came to her house, without fail, to take care of her landscaping needs.  She comes to rely on Sammy for certain things around her house and eventually in her life.  Then…

"Wonders To Come" by Christopher Fowler

"Wonders To Come" by Christopher Fowler
This story comes from the anthology "Dead Letters" edited by Conrad Williams.
Where to begin with this story.  The story was a bit out there, but so what.  What fantasy or sci-fi story isn't out there, some more than others.  The story lacked a few things.  It had all the right ingredients for a good story, but somewhere someone forgot to put in some salt and the story came out tasting bland and itwas no good.
A hotel is about to be unveiled for the grand opening.  The hotel being unveiled is state of the art.  Everything in the hotel is the latest and greatest all the way down to the sewage system.  The sewage system is so state of the art that they believe only one man is needed to control the systems of water and sewage for the hotel.  Of course this leads to all kinds of problems.

"Rods and Cones" by Jacob M Appel

"Rods and Cones" by Jacob M Appel
This story comes from the collection "Scouting for the Reaper" by Jacob M. Appel.
Ok, so every author has that one book that didn't do so well, and every collection has a couple stories that just don't make the cut compared to the others.  This was one of those stories.  Compared to the other stories in the collection this has been my least favorite of them all.
A husband and wife own a rabbit.  After watching the rabbit for a little bit they decide the rabbit has gone blind.  The husband is calm, cool, and collect and offers the suggestion of taking the rabbit to the vet and then waiting to see what is said.  The wife has other ideas.
The wife is so worried about her rabbit and the rabbit going blind that every day while her husband is at work she tries a different avenue to find out what's wrong with the rabbit.  Everything from taking the rabbit to the vet, getting cat scans, and even taking the rabbit to a ho…

"The Mathematical Inevitability of Corvids" by Seanan McGuire

"The Mathematical Inevitability of Corvids" by Seanan McGuire
This story comes from the anthology "Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales" edited by Ellen Datlow.
This was a an interesting story.  A girl named Brenda, has special needs and circumstances.  Somewhere around autism and obsessive compulsion disorder.  She has a mother who loves her, a little half-brother she adores, and a step-father who despises her.  She doesn't have any friends, but it doesn't matter much because she spends all her time looking for patterns.
She see mathematical patterns in everything around her, but especially in the corvids, which is a bird in the crow family. She sees mathematical rhymes and patterns based on how many corvids she counts that day.  Each number corresponds to a certain word or meaning. The number one means the same thing each time, as does two, three, four, and so forth.  She determines what sort of day it will be based on how many corvids she has counted before…

"The Obscure Bird" by Nicholas Royle

"The Obscure Bird" by Nicholas Royle
This was, besides the opening poem, the opening story to editor Ellen Datlow's latestanthology "Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales."
What an opening story to an anthology.  Based on what the anthology is about and what Ellen Datlow promises in her introduction this story encompasses all the different elements of the anthology.  There is a subtle darkness to this story that slowly boils to full on darkness.
A husband, wife, and baby son, live next to old railroad tracks that will soon be demolished and rebuilt for a new train system.  The husband likes to explore the overgrown tracks and look at the ecosystem that has been created from nature and time.
Slowly, as time passes, the wife starts to see small changes in the husband.  Sleeping patterns change, attitudes change, things just aren't the way they used to be.  Then one night the darkness comes on and the horrible happens.
I really dug this story, especially, as …

"The Goddess's Choice" by Jamie Marchant

"The Goddess's Choice" by Jamie Marchant
This is the story of a young man from the country and a young princess in need of a consort to rule the kingdom.  The young country boy, Robbie, or Robrek, lives with his father and brother on a farm in the kings lands.  The princess, Samantha, lives in the castle with the king and is trying her best not to marry anyone just because she has too.
Robbie is an outcast from his family and the town he lives in.  The town thinks he is a demon, as does his father and his brother.  Robbie's mother died upon giving birth to him and his father has never forgiven him for that. His dark skin and green eyes give people the impression that he is a demon.  No one will be his friend and hardly anyone will even talk to him.
On top of a town that thinks Robbie comes from the Seven Hells his father and brother beat him on a constant basis over any little thing he does.  His father beats his back with a strap while his brother holds him down and hi…