Death Ray Butterfly

Rated 4.00/5 based on 11 reviews
Inspector Stanley Mole doesn't mind a hard case, but things have gotten out of hand. There's a killer who escapes to a parallel universe, a frozen caveman with a bullet in his skull, a woman who claims to have witnessed her own murder, a toddler assassin, time-traveling dictators, and subatomic-particle sniffing butterflies. For Mole, this time more than just his reputation is on the line.
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 19,440
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452375939
About Tom Lichtenberg

"Author of curiously engaging novellas. His stories are not driven by action but by mood and metaphysics. His premises often begin with fairly standard, often vaguely science-fiction concepts, but he spins those concepts out into melancholy, thoughtful tales in which he explores the emotion and (often) dislocation that people feel when confronted by something outside their normal experience." - Devon Kappa

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Reviews

Review by: Blaine Zaid on July 29, 2013 :
As a sci-fi author myself I really appreciate Lichtenberg's combining sci-fi and humor. This short novel is fun and even manages to add some new twists to the idea of parallel universes. I highly recommend it for adults or teens. Also liked this Authors work entitled " The New Guy on Moonbase 12," but more for adults on that one.
(review of free book)

Review by: Martin Sowery on Feb. 20, 2013 :
great cover, great title. a downhill race of a story that grabs your attention and keeps on grabbing it. In the tradition of Douglas Adams and occasionally reminiscent of the great Flann O'Brien. I came to the end interested to discover more substantial works by this author
(review of free book)

Review by: Melinda Le Baron on May 29, 2012 :
This short story story has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. It's like Phillip Marlowe and Fox Maulder had a love child that played at Michael Moorcock's house in the multiverse while riding in H.G. Wells time machine. If that hasn't put a hurt on your brain yet, just stick around for more. The love child of Fox and Phillip is actually our protagonist named Inspector Mole. Getting close to retirement, he works all the weird and inexplicable cold case files for the government. When he's not on an active case, they have him recording his memoirs for posterity, because some of this stuff is too weird to believe.

We open our story by Mole reminiscing about a strange case where a toddler wanted to kill the President in the past, so he and his boss,the General,jump into a land yacht, but its a time machine programmed to intercept the toddler before the deed is done. The General puts Mole up at a beautiful hotel. The next morning he meets the General to plan strategy - it seems the General wants the toddler to succeed because in this reality after the Presidents were gone, the Generals took everything over, and they like it that way. If the President were to survive, who knows what would happen,or if elections would continue - the General can't risk it! So instead of stopping the toddler killer, they must make sure the toddler gets her man. Mole is confused - help a killer? But he's an Inspector! He solves murders, not helps commit them, but if he doesn't do this, he's the one who'll be killed - literally! When they get to the scene, the President is dead, the toddler is gone and they didn't have to anything. The General is happy as they climb back into their land yacht time machine for the trip home. And that's just an appetizer for the main attraction in this story which involves: dead Monarch butterflies, alternate universes, a dude who thinks he's clever, named Arab "Cricket" Jones, murder on a talkshow, some bad a$$ criminals, two "lighters" that send you to the next alternate universe, murder in a forest with that same person watching and screaming from behind a tree, soul possession, twin soul policemen, and a whole lot more.

This story brings up some really fascinating questions. If I kill someone in reality A and we both go to reality B where they're still alive, has there been a murder? What happens to you when you go from reality A to reality B? Are there two of you? Can you coexist? Is one of you dominant, the other submissive? And what about your souls - what happens to them? Can one get trapped inside the body of the dominant one? All these questions and more get answered by this intriguing story.

The characterization in the story follws two main characters: Inspector Mole, our protagonist and Arab "Cricket" Jones, our antagonist, they couldn't be more polar opposites if you stuck them on different ends of the globe. Mole is hard-boiled, tough,enjoys the small things in life, is kind to his associates, goal oriented, believes in justice, hunts down bad guys and put them away. Where Jones is arrogant, smarmy, thinks he's clever, thinks he's smarter than everyone else, loves to manipulate people, kills people, thinks he's a bad a$$. The author did an amazing job of making these two characters, through their actions and their dialogue - literally spring to life in this short story. Though the prose is sparse and the action quick, you feel that you know these two characters - even though you only like one.

The ending of the story is classic. You have to sit and think about it for a few minutes to get all the ramifications. In the end, it's very satisfying. One simple sentence was all it took to make worlds come tumbling down. That's how great short stories should end, with a bang disguised as a whimper.

I would recommend this story to anyone whose looked up into the starry sky and said "I wonder if...". I would also recommend this story to all fans of sci-fi and fantasy, as well as the X Files. Lets throw in fans of crime dramas too. This one's a genre buster, there's no doubt in my mind. You can find it on Smashwords, it's free. You'd be ridiculous not to go and get it. Read it on your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop if you don't have an an e-reader.
(review of free book)

Review by: Gary Miller on Nov. 06, 2011 :
Great characters and an interesting narrative. Interesting read.
(review of free book)

Review by: Joe Jordan on Nov. 02, 2011 :
A great story that keeps rolling on.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nora Black on Oct. 30, 2011 :
Brilliant, funny, quirky. I laughed so hard, I couldn't stand up straight for the rest of the day.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nora Black on Oct. 30, 2011 :
Brilliant, funny, quirky. I will find all I can by this author and devour it..
(review of free book)

Review by: Joanna Heathers on Aug. 20, 2011 :
it's not bad nor great. A decent read overall.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ecowitch on Feb. 08, 2011 :
A superbly quirky little book, written very much with tongue in cheek humour following the reminisces of a retired detective in the future (or maybe just in some parallel universe). The writing is a little disjointed but that adds to the feel of being told the story by the lead character, Stanley Mole, as he remembers his career making cases. Although the story could've ended up being very complex and completely confusing with the various parallel universes, situations and characters it's actually very easy to follow, largely due to Mole's own explanations of events. This is definitely a love it or hate it type of book, and I love it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Malcolm Harden on July 14, 2010 :
After some of the author's other works I found this disappointing. The entire story is a 1st person narrative which verges on stream of consciousness. For me this brings out the weakest aspects of the writer's style including a tendency towards short. Broken. Sentences and phrases. I found the story a real struggle to read and it took me a long time to feel comfortable with the style. Once the story develops it is captivating and the author is to be commended for experimenting even if I feel that ultimately it is not successful.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nelson on April 19, 2010 :
Good characters and an interesting story.
Recommended for a quick read.
(review of free book)

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