I have a necklace. Each pearl is perfectly matched, building carefully in size from the small ones at each end to the larger ones in the middle. I wear it for things that are important, special—where I know exactly what I’m bringing to the table. I have another necklace, though. It’s much shorter, and every bead is unexpected, different, unusual, and perfect in itself. It doesn’t “match” anything, but it’s always fun.
That’s how I think about short stories. The best ones are perfect little jewels, unexpected and complete within themselves. O. Henry knew this. Twain reveled in it. The brilliant science fiction masters of the early twentieth century—Clarke, Heinlein, Ellison, Bradbury, Asimov, and so many more—made it their trademark. And with his new release, The Experimental Notebook, author C.S. Boyack proves himself their rightful heir.
A speculative selection of micro-fiction and short stories. These were designed to be short reads for your commute, coffee break, and other times when readers are pressed for time. This book contains a bit of science fiction, some fantasy, and paranormal stories.
I’m excited to see short fiction returning in popularity. I hope you will enjoy these stories as much as I did.
Book Title: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack
Author: C. S. Boyack
Genre: Speculative short fiction
Length: 114 pages
Release Date: September 15, 2015 (Amazon Digital Services, Inc.)
Contacts and Buy-Links
My review: 5 out of 5 stars for The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack
Encyclopædia Britannica says:
The short story is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. The form encourages economy of setting, concise narrative, and the omission of a complex plot; character is disclosed in action and dramatic encounter but is seldom fully developed. Despite its relatively limited scope, though, a short story is often judged by its ability to provide a “complete” or satisfying treatment of its characters and subject.
They could be talking about any story in The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. These stories are the heirs of O. Henry and Twain and Lovecraft. They are perfect little worlds, each with its own unique twist ending. They don’t match each other or add up to a completely balanced meal. Instead they are the tapas of literature, the small plates you sample and move on.
From the sentimental Mom in Jack O’Lantern, to my personal favorite, Lisa—the “concept robot with artificial intelligence and emotions software”—in Bombshell Squad, to the chillingly humorous entity in Transference, each story is pared to the bone to provide only the barest details that will build its little world, show you what’s to be found there, and then (usually) twist it all at the end.
I’m delighted to give it five stars out of five. Sure, this is a short review. That’s partly because it would be an absolute crime to say anything more and spoil each story’s surprise, but also because my only complaint is that I want more! My recommendation to each of you is that you stop reading right here and download The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack immediately. Each story is the perfect length to read over lunch, on the bus, in the dentist’s waiting room, standing in that grocery line that you always seem to choose the longest one of. Then, as soon as you’re done reading it, please let me know which is your favorite. I guarantee you’ll have trouble choosing.
I reviewed The Experimental Notebook for Rosie’s Book Review Team.
*I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About the Author
C. S. Boyack says, “I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.