- File Size: 2749 KB
- Print Length: 130 pages
- Publisher: Jack Douglas Horn (September 22, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 22, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B014LN4SKE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,509 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Phantasma: Stories Kindle Edition
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel. See more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
The stand-outs are Akiko,The Adoption and Pitch, two of which are fantasy and one, The Adoption, the perfect example of what science fiction is supposed to be: thought-provoking and wrought with the morality of technological advancement. Akiko dabbles into the crime genre, in an enjoyable way. Pitch, the highlight of the book, blends the innocence of youth and its polar opposite of evil incarnate, and is a full-flushed environ even in its brevity.
Unique among the collection is The Guardian of the Sea, a poem about a mermaid living on land, working at an adult video store. While it's an entertaining read, its inclusion in an electronic book makes for an inconvenient layout problem - perhaps a meta-example of science fact colliding with the traditional experience of reading a book. I have a hard time with poetry, I'll admit, and this one demands a reread with a dictionary in hand (another convenience of e-books is I can use my built-in one).
Even while The Adoption and Pitch shine, they suffer from "gotcha" twists the reader may see coming. Nearly all of the stories do, to a broad spectrum of success. Pro Patria Mori suffers from the same fate, but the subject is of a lore that I don't find personally interesting - Celtic faeries - so the whole affair was an eye-roller.
Undercurrents barely scratches the surface of its potential, and while I hoped for more from that story as a stand-alone piece, I'm intrigued by its potential to set an interesting character loose on the world in which she lives.
The collection is hopefully only the first of many, and I look forward to the e-book convenience of grabbing a copy of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction off the rack - now that those racks are few and far between.
This collection is refreshing in that the majority of its authors and a large number of its characters are female. It features several short stories and one poem that stretch from the Irish Civil War into the future, and its scope of subjects – psychic ability, medical technology, and exile, to name a few – is vast. For me, the highlights were “The Adoption” by Anne Charnock, “Pitch” by J.D. Horn, and “The Guardian from the Sea” by Jason Kirk.
“The Adoption” introduces readers to Rudy and Simone, a couple exploring the idea of having children, but on their own terms. Simone wants as much distance as possible from her own childhood and family, including their DNA. Charnock, through the lens of a believable and sharply written couple, offers a thoughtful perspective on ever-shifting definitions of family. She also raises a number of interesting questions about reproductive ethics, inviting readers to consider this topic without all the noisy judgment often swirling around it.
“Pitch” is reminiscent of Faulker in all its creepy Southern charm and full of supernatural twists and turns. Its energy and dialect immediately draw readers into rural 1955 Georgia, and the character development is disturbingly vivid, particularly in the case of Mo the delivery man, one of several outcasts and scapegoats in the story. But the focus is twelve-year-old Billy (called Billy Goat by most people because of his goat-like features), who embarks on a mission to kill the devil. Readers may shake their heads – the boy’s so literal – but we soon see that the devil is indeed real; it just doesn’t take the expected form.
“The Guardian from the Sea” is a sprawling narrative poem that closes out Phantasma. Fantasies run the gamut, of course, and somewhere along that spectrum, certain fictitious entities (cartoons, vampires, robots, aliens) hold a great deal of allure. Enter Meredith, the central figure of the poem, a wheelchair-bound mermaid who works in an adult bookstore and has a tank-topped, six-packed, entirely human boyfriend named Ozzie.
Readers are steeped in garish Southern California, with its HamletMarts and holy roller bladers and “the kind of Cali burnball sun that even the shadow side of you goes gilded… [and]Under each thing the near sense of its searing somewhere above.” The poem in places adopts the bare roughness of a punk song (“Wives performed miracles…The beach was gravy”) and in others soars operatically: “the china…came crashing downward gorgeously and sharded grace light in pinwheel figurines across the floor.” Some of this imagery is achingly beautiful.
The tale demonstrates a fascinating preoccupation, fixation almost, with the body – certainly Meredith’s, for obvious reasons, but also Ozzie’s, who’d “eat ice cream dogs and his hardline figure only pulled tauter.” And it is punctuated throughout by observations that press down on that place inside where oceanic love and longing and loneliness reside.
Phantasma is a worthy investment of your time. It helped dismantle some of my bias against the sci-fi genre and showed me the flimsiness of my understanding of all that it can encompass.
This review is based on an advanced reader's copy provided in an exchange for an honest review.
There are no losers in this collection of short stories. Each one is written well and harbors a message worth reading. One is a poem and the other 5 are short stories. Below are the titles and the star rating that I assigned to each one. My favorite of the six is also listed.
'Undercurrents' 4 stars
'Pro Patria Mori' 5 stars - This is my favorite of the selections.
'Akiko' 5 stars
'The Adoption' 4 stars
'Pitch' 5 stars
' The Guardian from the Sea' 4 stars
Truly an outstanding collection which I enjoyed immensely. I really like anthologies as I meet new authors that I will read in the future. Of these six, I had only previously read one author.
Most highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
I had a tough time getting started with this book.Read more
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies & Short Stories
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban