Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Won Over, November 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Paperback)
I discovered Fred Warren's writing in online magazines and was totally won over with the very first one. Each story only embedded his writing deeper into my heart :). His stories are sometimes witty, sometimes deep, sometimes fantastical, sometimes dark, but always well-written and engaging. I was thrilled to finally have a whole collection of his stories in one spot!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speculation, August 4, 2011
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Paperback)
Mr. Warren does well with short stories. Each time, it started a different way. In no way did it feel like any one story was like another, besides the "miracles" theme. Some ended well, some bad, but all left you wanting more. They each explored the remotely possible, and perfectly impossible as well. I really enjoyed it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Turtle's Thoughts on Odd Little Miracles, July 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Paperback)
I don't generally like short stories and certainly not collections of short stories, but I'd read The Muse and liked it so I took a chance. I couldn't be happier with the results. A variety of story lengths, topics and genres kept me far more interested than I expected to be. The writing style, especially the fabulous dialogue, sucked me in and the reading was over way too fast. My favorite story (Rubes) was one of the longer ones but I liked them all. I started with the e-reader version, but I'm buying a hard copy to keep on my shelf. I suspect I'll be loaning it out a lot. You can bet I'll keep my eyes open for the next short story with Fred Warren's name attached.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwile journey into odd little worlds..., June 23, 2014
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Paperback)
Finding nice short story anthologies is an odd little miracle in itself. So if you've managed to hear about or find this book, you've already experienced the miracle concept in some small way, and may be about to encounter 22 more little miracles.

Fred takes the normal and simply pokes and stretches such normality in his stories. Sure, there are aliens, demons, clowns and cosmetic surgeons, but they manage to fit comfortably into the author's odd little tales (even the cosmetic surgeons...).

At a dime to a quarter a story, you are simply tipping the bard as he spins his tales. As you read these bits of prose, you may look over your shoulder once or twice, or you may consider how odd little miracles manage to come into your unstretched world.

Stretch a bit, get comfortable, and definitely check out the odd little miracles being offered here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Comical, Sometimes tragic, Often poignant, Never dull, March 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Kindle Edition)
If short stories are the snacks of reading, then Fred Warren's collection is like an old fashioned ice cream sundae with all your favorite toppings, including a few you never thought to try before. Each story adds a flavor or texture to the whole, some quick to the tongue and some with an aftertaste lingering long after the meal is over.

In this book, drawn from his many serial publications, Warren weaves together an odd assortment of tales that are both fantastical and true, in the purest sense of emotional, spiritual truth. What unites this odd bunch of characters are their humanity, both beautiful and ugly, and the choices they face. Sometimes these choices are comical, sometimes tragic, often poignant, never dull.

As with any anthology, some stories stand out more than others. Here are some thoughts on a few of my personal favorites.

In "The Devil's Temp," an office drone is faced with the ultimate out-of-office assignment: supervising hell itself. Warren revels in the ridiculousness of the situation, one the man faces with Dilbert-like detachment, but which also forces him to reexamine his passive acceptance of evil.

"Rubes" focuses on a circus stuck in the middle of nowhere, forced to play for a most unusual prairie crowd. The carnies do their best to make the most of a bad deal, but discover that sometimes the salt of the earth aren't as bland as first meet the eye, nor as "safe." This story really brought out Warren's talent for characterization, packing in so much color into so few words, and also proving that miracles aren't without danger.

What's the most humane way to avenge a death? That question, explored with pathos and grim irony, is at the heart of "The Time Share." To say more would give it away, but this futuristic solution to the problem of punishing those who cause death is far more disturbing and thought-provoking than many a dark dystopian novel tries to be. What seems impossible now is often just around the corner, or thrust upon us before we truly realize the consequences.

Several of these stories are about first contact with an alien race. "An Eternal, Unbroken Chain" and "Bullies With Big Fat Heads" both explore how lack of open communication at these meetings can lead to dark comedy, and I enjoyed them both. But the best, most heartfelt narrative in this vein is "Pilgrimage," a story about two diplomats, one human, one alien, and their struggle to find common ground. I appreciated how the alien race was fully developed, especially with so few words and minor exposition, and in ways that many science fiction shows aim for but can't quite reach. These two characters inhabit very different worlds, and have very strong beliefs, but both are dedicated to truly learning about the other and communicating, which is often slow, difficult, and personally challenging. The ending was open ended (in a good way), and I'd love for Warren to revisit these characters and their journey in a future story. As a side note, it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors, going one better by featuring two females of opposite species.

As a final recommendation, these stories are short enough they make excellent bedtime reading material even for weekdays: just enough to entertain without enticing one to stay up too late. However, don't judge them merely on their length. Even after several reads Warren's unaffected prose is a delight to experience. The poignancy and irony of his style packs so much depth into so few pages, proving brevity to truly be the soul of wit. I highly recommend this anthology.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fred Warren, A Speculative Fiction Author to Follow, December 1, 2013
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Kindle Edition)
I’ve found a new speculative fiction author—Fred Warren—to follow, well...at least new for me. He has three books published by Splashdown, and short stories in one of their compilation works, plus many magazine publications. It’s rare for me to read all the works by any given author, which goes to show I really like his writing.

In Odd Little Miracles Warren fascinates the reader with short stories that contain unpredictable twists. The second short story, An Eternal, Unbroken Chain, is about space aliens appearing in a desolate Iowa field. The twist is a real gotcha.

Our Lady of Chagrin captures the healing of a bad spiritual force. It definitely makes you ponder our world a little differently.

One of his stories, Rubes, gives a nod to Zenna Henderson and compelled me to reread her four book compilation entitled Ingathering, The Complete People Stories. He doesn’t copy her, but his story makes me believe in good again—as did the People Stories.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Capturing the Fun of Speculative Fiction, July 7, 2011
By 
Adam (Boise, ID, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Odd Little Miracles (Kindle Edition)
Take one Carol Award finalist author, mix in 22 different speculative stories, and what do you get? A great recipe for fun.

In Odd Little Miracles, Fred Warren brings a smorgasboard of speculative short stories including science fiction, fantasy, and high adventure. He'll keep your mind happily dancing through his imaginative worlds. From a space non who lost her arm to Aliens who have offers too good for humans to refuse, to a cutesy girl who wants to become sidekick to an evil wizard, Warren runs the gamut of speculative stories.

The stories are of varying lengths. There are five longer stories that take up the greatest portion of the book with most of the remaining seventeen being almost flash fiction in length.

The five longest stories are the crown jewels of the book:

"Rubes"-A circus finds itself stranded in a hick town where everyone pays to come to their show, but seems mostly non-plussed, particularly when it comes to the freak show. This was a thought-provoking tale that left me wanting to know more when the chapter ended.

"Come You Back to Mandalay": This one was definitely out of the box. Set in the 1930s, it tells the story of two men on a hunt for the world's deadliest creative. This was extremely suspenseful and may have been the best told story in the book.

"A Taste of Honey"-A photographer gets more than he bargained for when he stops in at a honey concession at the fair, as he finds himself drawn to the woman who runs it, whose relationship with the bees is extremely simpatico. This story was very haunting.

"All Things Seen and Unseen"-Nuns have formed a space search and rescue order. Sister Claudia is determined to prove that a space tour company has committed illegal acts that endangered innocent lives. In the process, she disobeys orders and loses her arm, thus ending her career in space rescue. Claudia struggles with self-doubt and confusion about her future through much prayer until God steps in and lends a hand.

"The Silver Tree"-On a planet that has cut itself off from technology in order to be safe from its influences, a young couple uncover some things that are considered by the Elders to be too much like the technology they fled from. This one really took some pretty drastic turns.

The shorter stories were a bit of a mixed bag. Probably my favorites from among those are the satirical "Angel Wings," the ironic "Chamber of Doors," the surprising "A Quiet Afternoon at the Alabaster County Ladies," and the Twilight-zone like "Sick to Death."

My two least favorite stories in the collection were "The Devil's Temp" and "Time Share." The Devil's temp imagines the Devil having to hire a temp so he can make a presentation. It was an interesting concept, but it didn't really go anywhere. "Time Share" was based on the idea of a man who killed someone being forced to share his body with the person's mind. This one didn't work for me because the specific case covered in the story was so outlandish I couldn't buy it.

Overall, though, this was a fun read that showcased Warren's versatility and talent, and will be sure to provide any good reader of speculative fiction hours of fun.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Odd Little Miracles
Odd Little Miracles by Fred Warren
$2.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.