After reading "The Harvest", which, as I mentioned previously, was quite long, I decided to get a few quick fixes and so read the following 6 short stories. I'm counting all 6 of them together as Book #20 of 2012.
Checking It Twice by Melissa L. Web (FREE atm for Kindle)
This story was super short but quite interesting all the same. Without giving too much away, I'll just say that it includes a frightening twist on what Santa's punishment is for all the bad girls and boys - they don't receive a lump of coal...
As you can tell from 4 out of 6 of the stories I read being written by John H. Carroll, I found that I really enjoy this author. All of his stories are incredibly different and, I think, really good. "Test Pilot" is about a man who works for The Company on the moon as a tester for all sorts of new gadgets and ships. As a Sci-Fi geek, I really enjoyed hearing about the crazy new technologies the author had come up with. The biggest problem I had was the main character's attitude toward how all of these technologies actually functioned, If it's really complicated then just don't explain it as I'm just here to test things and don't really care how they work. Curious me WANTED to know how everything worked, especially the weird suit he puts on at one point in which you can see the starry sky... It was a good story nonetheless.
This was SO cute :-) A loner falls in love with a girl from another world. The ending is bittersweet more than sad, which was a nice change from what I thought was going to end up happening. But the time spent between the alien and the main character was absolutely adorable.
Crazy! What a scary thought that what is written in your high school yearbook may actually come true... Be aware, there is a horror twist.
(FREE atm for Kindle)
As the name suggests, this story is ridiculous, but I really did love it. The way it poked fun at the emo attitude was hysterical, especially since I used to be one of those emo kids (haha!). This story takes a crazy turn in regards to how the Easter Bunny really does his thing, which was strange, but enjoyably inventive...if you can stomach the idea of an evil Easter Bunny that is...
The Day God Winked by Mark Jacobs (FREE atm for Kindle)
I would have liked to see this story fleshed out into a novella as the concept was quite interesting. I really don't want to give away what "The Event" was, so I'll just say that I wish the author had shown more than just the one character's interaction with "The Event." A really interesting concept regardless. There were 2 other short stories included with this one and I definitely thought the title short story was far better than the 2 freebies. The first one, "Incident at Walter's Creek," was creepy (think aliens and a secret whiskey distillery) and leaves one guessing as to the real truth behind the whole situation...What DID really happen?? Arrggghh. The second story, "Reckoning," was just completely confusing. With zero background information and thus zero explanation for the situation the characters found themselves in, I really could not follow the story. As far as I can tell, it's about an intelligent community of frogs preparing for the end of days...yeah I know...I'm really not sure..
Since all of these short stories are FREE for Kindle, I totally recommend downloading them all and checking them out...what can it hurt?? If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a FREE application for your computer that is itself a sort of Kindle reader (whether you have a Mac or PC ;-)