An entertaining collection of thirteen speculative fiction short stories. Some are thoughtful, some funny, and others are spooky, but each is satisfying on either an emotional or intellectual level.
Asthana shows great range, both in the variety of countries and cultures present in the stories and in the themes present in the tales. It is impressive how different each story is when so many of them feature aliens.
I also enjoyed that the stories seem to exist in a shared universe, as the same people and places pop up like Easter eggs in several other tales.
The first story, An Assassin in Time, shows a CIA operative take on an important mission. I liked how time travel was depicted in this story, and it raises a lot of philosophical questions.
The Family Curse is the story of three generations of a family being tormented by the same demon. I found this story very moving, and I loved the questions it raised.
Like the movie of a similar name, Look Who’s Coming to Lunch is about Priya introducing her boyfriend to her parents. A well written tale, I’m still debating the topics raised in my head, unsure how I’d react in Priya’s parents shoes.
4212 West Walnut Street is a nice little creepy, atmospheric piece.
Previously published as a solo story, The Visitor is an entertaining combination of the Wild West, aliens and horror. Click on the link at the end of this post to read my more in-depth review.
I’m not usually a fan of crude fiction, but I found Little Green Men hilarious, and unexpected. A group of friends take a short cut them leads them into the heart of an invasion by some violent aliens.
A classic adventure tale, Hominids sees a prehistoric man hunt an unusual prey.
My favorite story of the collection, Space Wars contains an Easter egg to the author’s excellent science fiction Final Wars trilogy.
This exciting future science fiction tale is set on Mars and shows a battle over the red planet. I chuckled at the names of the leaders of the different warring factions.
There’s an App for That turns a pleasant meal between coworkers into something more sinister.
A continuation of sorts of the previous story, That Night is a creepy story with a Rear Window (or Fright Night) vibe that will make you reconsider going on a writing retreat.
Werewolf is a fun and surprisingly deep horror story.
Trespasser tells the story of what happens when something inhabits a well in an Indian village.
Another of my favorites, Empty Places hit all the right notes for me with it’s story of spooky things walking the roads at night in Thailand.
I award At the Edges…
At the Edges is available for $2.99 ebook and $10.99 print book on Amazon.
Thank you to the author for giving me an ARC and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Read my reviews of S A Asthana’s epic science fiction trilogy, The Final Wars.