Review of Brian MacGowan’s Short Story “The Package”

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Scene from the 2014 military SciFi movie “Edge of Tomorrow” starring Tom Cruise

Once again, I decided to read and review a short story from the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology World War Four (2019). My story “Joey” is included in the anthology, and on this blog, I’ve previously reviewed three of the other short stories (for obvious reasons, I can’t review them on Amazon).

Today we visit “The Package” by Brian MacGowan. It’s a military SciFi thriller describing the conflict between the fictional Northern Free States (NFS) and the United Alliance (UA), sort of a civil war scenario as far as I can tell.

An elite team of commandos, led by Sgt. Rick Harrington invades a UA stronghold because they have intel stating that previously stolen UA encryption codes are hidden in the facility. The op is to get in, get the codes, and then evac.

The military action and heroism depicted is first-rate, but I may have missed something in the story line. The codes were initially taken by an NFS ambassador over a year ago as the story starts. Harrington’s Hellhounds quickly find two things. The first is that there’s no human resistance at all as they enter, and the second is one nearly impenetrable security door that doesn’t have any right to be there.

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Flash Fiction Addiction is Here!

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© James Pyles

As you can see, my copy of Zombie Pirate Publishing‘s latest anthology “Flash Fiction Addiction” arrived, which features my short story “Growing Flowers,” a little steampunkish piece I originally crafted for an online writing challenge. I just found out today that for a limited time only. Amazon is offering US customers 20% discount on paperback copies of FFA, so get ’em while they last.

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© James Pyles

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© James Pyles

Review of Gregg Cunningham’s Short Story “War Pig”

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Image found at NASA Spaceflight.com forums

“War Pig” was written by Gregg Cunningham, a fellow contributor to the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology World War Four(2019). After reviewing Neal Asher’s Monitor Logan and Sam Phillips’ Cold Fusion, I thought I’d round things out with Cunningham’s story.

It does have to do with the fourth world war and an interplanetary battleship called a “war hog,” only this “hog” is also capable of time travel, which makes things kind of confusing.

We start out with our protagonist and a (more or less) sapient robot named a “Floyd” on the surface of a terraformed Moon thirty years into the war. The war hog has been destroyed and it looks like Commander Redux (although the highest rank he can ever remember is Sergeant) is just trying to survive. Then, through (apparently) a series of flashbacks, we see how Redux got into this mess in the first place, especially when a younger version of himself is put on trial by an older counterpart, and then the older Redux sacrifices his life so that the younger self can steal the war hog at an earlier point in history and try to fix whatever he got wrong.

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First Amazon Review of “World War Four”

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Screenshot from amazon.co.uk

As my regular readers know, my SciFi short story “Joey” is included in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology World War Four which also features an exclusive short story by best-selling science fiction author Neal Asher.

I just found out that WW4 received its first five-star Amazon review at their Amazon UK site. Five stars. Terrific news.

Okay folks in the U.S. and other nations, time to weigh in. Looking forward to hearing what you think.

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Screenshot from amazon.co.uk

Digital Copy of “World War Four” on my Kindle Fire

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© James Pyles

I just got the digital copy of the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “World War Four” which features my short story “Joey.” The book is currently available on Amazon in both digital and paperback formats. Be the first to get a copy and write an Amazon review. On goodreads, it has no reviews yet, but 29 ratings with a compiled score of 4.93 out of a possible 5.

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© James Pyles

Pre-Order “Flash Fiction Addiction” Now

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Announcement for “Flash Fiction Addiction” from Zombie Pirate Publishing

My piece of flash fiction “Growing Flowers” is one of one-hundred-and-one wee tales included in Zombie Pirate Publishing’s upcoming anthology Flash Fiction Addiction, currently available for pre-order on Amazon and delivered to your Kindle device on April 15th.

In case you don’t know, “flash fiction” tales are very, very short stories (in this case anywhere between 100 and 750 words long), and any one of them can be read in a few seconds to a few minutes. You can Go Here to find out more. Oh, in the image below, my name and story title is in the left-hand column toward the bottom.

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Flash Fiction Addiction table of contents

Signal Boost for “Magical Reality”

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Created at the imgflip meme generator

The fine folks at Superversive SF have honored me with a Signal Boost of the Pixie Forest Publishing anthology Magical Reality which features my short story “The Dragon’s Family.” According to Urban Dictionary, a Signal Boost is:

Posting to a community forum (mailing list, social networking site, discussion board) in hopes of getting more attention for an event or cause. This is not the primary or first announcement, but rather one of many auxiliary posts or cross-posts to communities with individuals who are likely to take interest.

This will hopefully be the first of many since no one can read your stories unless they know where to find them.

Click the LINK and please pass it along.

Oh and yes, L. Jagi Lamplight Wright, who wrote the signal boost, was the teacher of the online writing class I took last November.

“Magical Reality” In My Hand

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© James Pyles

Yes, it arrived in the mail yesterday. I’ve been out of town with my wife visiting my Mom about an eight-hour drive away. Even though we got back a day early, we were occupied all day yesterday and into the evening with grandchildren/family, so I haven’t been online much. It was a real pleasure to finally see a story of mine in physical print. I’ve been a published author of information technology textbooks and self-study guides for about fifteen years, but this is the first fiction story I’ve been able to see and touch. Hope this is just the beginning.

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© James Pyles

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© James Pyles

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© James Pyles

My Short Story “The Dragon’s Family” Now Available in “Magical Reality”

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Promotional poster for the my short story “The Dragon’s Family” published in the Pixie Forest Publishing fantasy anthology “Magical Reality.”

Available now!

A modern fantasy anthology from Pixie Forest Publishing featuring thirteen fantasy-related tales set in the modern world includes my short story “The Dragon’s Family.”

Aging retiree James Monroe finds a small, injured dragon in a vacant field behind his house, and taking the creature home, discovers that the grief and loss he, his son, and grandchildren are suffering from is mirrored in the existence of the mythical being. Together they learn how to demonstrate great sacrifice, healing, and love.

Magical Reality, edited by Jensen Reed and Donise Sheppard, is available now on Amazon.

Here’s what it looks like on my Kindle Fire:

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Image of my short story “The Dragon’s Family” as seen on my Kindle Fire.