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.
Stories Of An Awkward Size: A Slipstream And Hard SF Anthology Paperback – January 15, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
About the Author
Jonathan Swords-Holdsworth – JSH – is an Australian author of Slipstream and hard Science Fiction. Having grown up in the city of Melbourne's suburbia, JSH now lives in the Australian bush with his partner and a small menagerie of animals and wildlife. A former musician, software engineer and computer scientist by training, he has shifted back to writing full time. His other passions include astronomy, photography and travel.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Australian writer Jonathan Swords-Holdsworth lends a talented hand to the genre he grew up loving and clearly illustrates through his first collection, Stories Of An Awkward Size. The former software engineer, who now dedicates himself to writing full-time, shares five tantalizing tales that take place in the near future and offer the kinds of subtle plot twists, tech developments and creepy catharsis that television-savvy readers at first might rightly compare to the Netflix series Black Mirror.
However, unlike the world-building in Black Mirror that is ultimately immersed in disappointment, setbacks and satire — with the intellectual terror and gallows humor such a treatment of characters provides its audience — the short story collection written by Swords-Holdsworth glimmers with a slightly more promising vision of the future. In it, readers slowly acquire the astonishing sense that humankind might – just might — succeed in making a damn of a difference solving the myriad of problems and tackling the grave threats to survival on this planet it has caused.
Thus, to be fair, then, when considering the finely written tales of Stories of an Awkward Size, it might be best to imagine an updated version of The Twilight Zone, delivered as episodic narratives of the mind, often based on hard science, and presented with the deadpan tenderness of your favorite friend from down under.
To quote a character from Swords-Holdsworth’s metaphysical romp, “Mr. Devrie’s Red Bowler Hat,” which concerns the misadventures of a man who discovers an odd afterlife awaiting him after a car crash … “Bugger this … let’s explore.”
On that note, the four other stories in the collection include:
“Black Prince” – Try not to be too superstitious after reading about what happens when a digital black cat crosses the protagonist’s path.
“Come Silent Winged Sleep” – Be careful of eyes watching you in the sky. Great story that would make a great drama.
“The Ghost of Rene Magritte” – Virtual reality sometimes sounds better than promised. You’ll see.
“The Thousand Yard Stare” – What youth wishes for isn’t always a waste, or is it?
These stories would be great shorts developed for TV or film, a more upbeat series in the tradition of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone. Maybe for us lovers of science fiction, one day they will be adapted for our screens, big or small. Until then, they remain great reads worthy of your time and space.
"Black Prince" : Art/graffiti that interacts with its viewers in interesting ways. This story opens the anthology and grabs the reader straight away.
"Mr. Devries' Red Bowler Hat" : an interesting exploration of what may happen when we finally "sleep; perchance to dream."
"Come Silent Winged Sleep" : Watch the skies and watch your back. Great story that would make a great drama.
"The Ghost of Rene Magritte" : And you thought totally immersive virtual reality would be the bees knees. Let's think about this for a moment.
"The Thousand Yard Stare" : Yes, youth is wasted on the young. But will they learn this lesson?
These stories lay down a promising foundation and I look forward to what this Jonathon builds upon it.
2nd story - What is reality, anyway? Well thought out and with a great twist... Jonno, I err, tip my hat to you
3rd story - With drones slowly becoming more common, what makes us assume "slowly" is correct? Or that we would see it? Near future gear tech that's exciting to read - Jon shows a great ability to visualize this stuff, and the skill to help others do the same. That bit where the street youths approach the protagonist was freakin awesome.
4th story - VR tech development and morre gadgets! As we build our world image - some of us lose the plot. But if we lose the plot in a virtual world - who or what is to blame? Awesome angle on a much visited subject.
5th story - The immortality loop.. Longevity tech & the things it could drive people to do - another near future work that makes it's way to the distant future.
Please make more.. so, so good
"Come Silent Winged Sleep" and "The Ghost of Rene Magritte" were definitely a hit for me
This question germinated when I finished the second story and was in full bloom midway through the fourth.
‘Stories of an Awkward Size,’ by Mr Swords-Holdsworth may not only be the best book I’ve read by a contemporary fiction writer, it may also be the best compilation of shorts I’ve read to date.
The author blends a superb writing style with his vivid imagination and tosses in the perfect serving of credible science and technology [The writer obviously has a background in a tech field] that makes each story resound with a thumping bass line of plausibility.
Recommendation: Buy the hard copy as you WILL want this one on a shelf in your library
Read my full review here: https://mthomasmark.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/book-review-stories-of-an-awkward-size/
Most recent customer reviews
Some hard-boiled cops in a Noir/SF crime story with drones (no,...Read more