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Strange Reports From Sector M Paperback – October 3, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
After graduating from the University of North Texas, Matt Carson worked as a writer in journalism, advertising, and other assorted fields. His first love, however, has always been fiction.
Carson describes himself as an unrepentant fanboy and gamer with a deep interest in etymology, acting, and naval history. A geek and nerd from back when neither was considered cool, Carson has been fully enjoying the current “geek awakening” and contributing to it with his own stories, including his military science-fiction novel The Backwards Mask.
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Top customer reviews
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It's a collection of thirteen short works, broken into two groups: Really Short Stuff, and Not-So-Short Stuff. The Really Short Stuff takes up the first 50-ish pages of the book, and has some of the most interesting experimentation outside of Matt's bailiwick (military sci-fi, if you didn't know). An advertisement for used stars, sci-fi blues lyrics, and other treats greet you here, and can all be easily consumed in a single, long-ish sitting. I'm not a super fast reader, so your consumption rate may vary. The No-So-Short Stuff also has good variety, and I don't want to spoil any of it for you. There are a couple of military sci-fi shorts in here that are pretty fantastic, as well as a short that I would classify as sci-fi/horror, told in first person. I didn't have any problem getting through any one of the shorts in a single sitting, save for The Foeman's Chain (the final, and longest, story in the book). One other note on the writings themselves: as pretext to each story, Matt writes some insight into how/why he wrote each short, which I really enjoyed.
I procured both the printed and kindle editions, although I spent most of my time reading the printed one. The book is VERY well designed, including the cover art, paper stock, even the font selection. You should feel confident getting either edition, as both are high quality.
I'm not sure what else I can say to convince you to buy this book. It's a worthy addition to any sci-fi fan's collection, and can be had for the low-low price of [insert Amazon's current pricing here]. Do yourself a favor a get a copy of this book -- your happiness quotient is sure to increase!
I REALLY like the way the author prefaced each story with a bit about how each one came into being, or how someone/something influenced each tale. It is insight one rarely gets before the story is revealed. GREAT book, and I would love to see a full-length novel one day, based on “The Gossamer Thread”.
Mr Carson achieves everything here I look for in good science fiction. Sci-Fi has long history of exploring what makes us human, beyond the shapes of our bodies. The short-form can be especially tricky for such exploration, but Carson masterfully plucks the proper emotional chords for each piece as appropriate. I have, in the weeks since I read these stories, found my mind turning to them again & again. They will certainly bear re-reading this year.
The stories span a variety of types of science fiction. My favorite may be Looking Back. Considering the themes of family relationships and the divide between the public & private individual, this story is both emotionally moving and thought-provoking. I think it has something for us, whatever stage of life we find ourselves in.
There is much more to say about how enjoyable a read this collection is, but it may be best to just recommend you read it and find your own favorites.