- File Size: 672 KB
- Print Length: 218 pages
- Publication Date: November 30, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004UGMLMK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,966,906 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #6851 in Fantasy Anthologies
- #5066 in Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories (Kindle Store)
- #4621 in Superhero Fantasy eBooks
There is No Wheel Kindle Edition
|Length: 218 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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All the stories are complete, complicated, and crazy.
To the East, a Bright Star: "He should go on, leave her to her own devices. Except he hated people who thought like that..." This line - a gem - encapsulates the story about two very messed up people in a very messed up situation, <spoiler>types of people everyone else would look the other way when they see them, and holds out a moral as a shiny ruby - like a piece of gum on the bottom of the shoe in summer, sticking with you forever. For if ever there was a time to leave a person behind and never face consequences, the addict had it. He faced a choice between his own personal comfort, safety, and dreams, and saving someone else. </spoiler>
Silent as Dust: Wasn't sure until the end who was being haunted.
Final Flight of the Blue Bee: Sometimes heroes live long enough to be the villain. And some heroes don't need to live very long to reach that point.
Empire of Dreams and Miracles: Getting deeper into the collection, and the connection Mr. Maxey's works have to reality get looser - and somehow more direct. For what is more direct than death and more unreal than it not having consequences, until, unexpectedly, it does.
Return to Sender: Crystal has been raised by monks with virtually no outside contact meets a home-school guy raised by religious extremists (snake handlers) while delivering pizza. Comparing backgrounds of isolation, indoctrination, and improbable information, she questions if she really is about to save the world or just kill a guy who owns some old books because the monks tell her to. And with Mr. Maxey you really don't know where this is going to land.
Pentacle on His Forehead, Lizard on His Breath: Customer service is essential for return customers.
To Know All Things That Are In the Earth: That is ... the weirdest and wildest post-rapture story I have ever read that still made sense. The least psychedelic story of the collection. Strangely - the more out-there the circumstances of the story, the more real Mr. Maxey makes his characters.
Echo of the Eye: Oh, um. Well, then.
Where Their Worm Dieth Not: Another story about the consequences of death not having consequences, except when it does. Superhero version. Also a study of evil, judgement, and punishment.
Perhaps the Snail: An erotica with a moist large, one-muscle creature. A commentary on obsession. A study of rock lyrics. One, two or all three or something else entirely? I think I brought up the words demented and psychedelic before in this review while also saying Mr. Maxey writes full-bodied characters. Yeah.
But I am a big fan of James Maxey, so I got this. And out of the ten stories, I really liked seven. Seventy percent! And that's not merely "okay" like the fifty percent in a normal story collection. That's seven stories that I really liked, three or four of which were standouts. Unheard of.
Not only that, but of the three remaining stories, not one of them was dull. I just didn't like them. (One I positively hated.) But for seven other stories this good, it's well worth it. And for the price of $0.99, you can't go wrong.
My favorites included "Silent as Dust," the strangest ghost story you've ever read. It doesn't even have a real ghost in it. No--wait; yes it does. But it doesn't need one. . . . Another was "Where Their Worm Dieth Not." Something about this title keeps making me think it's one of the ones I didn't like, but then I check on it and it's that really cool superhero story with a dynamite ending. My favorite overall was "Return to Sender," a delightful action-packed story about a half-breed angel fighting demonic cults and her strict upbringing at the same time.
Get this one. You won't regret it.
Maxey's protagonists are unapologetically bizarre: junkies, perverts, hedonists, cannibals, has-beens, and heretics. But even as these people with terrible problems and tragic paths dig themselves deeper into misery, you can't help but feel some of the love and empathy Maxey seems to carry for them. When the character you find yourself caring for is dissecting a cherub or trying to kill his former lover, this is quite a trick.
The worlds of these stories are as weird and involving as the characters, full of all-too-human superheroes, heavenly beings that aren't what we expected, sadistic rock bands, and apocalyptic moments. Highly recommended for persons of stout constitution and curious mind.