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on Oct. 08, 2011 :
Science fiction can be hit or miss for me. I'll read it, and I mostly like it, but it's not one my favorite genres so I don't seek it out. Short stories are iffy, as well. I'm sure it's hard to fit a complete story into such a small word count. And many authors who write short stories, should be writing novels. They just try to put too much story into a small space, and the reader ends up feeling like we've missed something important.
Neither one of these issues was a problem when I read Unspoken Stories - Volume 1 by B.C. Young. The stories were interesting, complete, and even though they're only a few pages each, they're long enough to get you hooked and make you care about the characters. In fact, one of the stories made me cry, and we all know that's not allowed. Even so, I'll be giving this book five stars.
You can read the official summary of the stories above. Keep reading for my summary of the stories.
"Copy Bird": A post-apocalyptic survivor and what may be the smartest bird ever.
"Going Home": An emotional story of a soldier visiting his family.
"Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban": An interesting story about choices. And coffee.
"The Present": This is one of those "Be careful what you wish for" stories. It's kind of weird, and the time travel loop threw me a bit, but it was still good.
"Running to Keep Her": This is a sweet story about lost love, but it's also a bit creepy because the guy is a tad bit obsessed.
About the book
Title: Unspoken Stories - Volume 1
Author: B.C. Young
Where I got the book: I got this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 28, 2011 :
I’m not normally a short story reader; I prefer my time to be spent with full length, involved works, but the concept of Unspoken Stories (according to the author’s blog, named because without some friendly motivation and a new outlook on writing itself, he may never have written them) sounded fascinating. Five separate, unrelated, stories, all based in a different science fiction niche (some more scifi than others), all in one volume. I’m very glad I took the chance.
Unspoken Stories consists of Copy Bird, Going Home, Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban, The Present, and Running to Keep Her. The author explained he wrote each one in a fairly short time frame; as such there are some minor editing issues, but nothing that would pull the reader from the story. One by one, my thoughts on each:
Copy Bird: A very unique present tense telling of a post-apocalyptic world. A man awakens in a burned out future society, thinking he’s alone, only to hear the call of a bird, speaking to him, pulling him along to an unknown destination. This was probably my favorite of the five. Great emotion and feelings of the protagonist, and a heartwarming ending.
Going Home: A young man has leave from military service against an alien invasion sweeping the human populated worlds, and takes time to visit his family and tries to keep his promise to them. This story started and ran slow for me, but when I completed it, my thoughts on it completely turned around. Looking at it as a whole, knowing the way it ends, made it an excellent tale.
Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban: A different way of looking at the future Big Brother type society, one where cofee is banned, both for drinking and possessing. Easy to relate to, as well as easy to compare to some of today’s odd rules and regulations.
The Present: A view on time travel from a personal perspective, and a twist on “what would you do if you could” with the added facet of how it affects others. Good flow, and relatively (no pun intended) easy to follow the timeline.
Running to Keep Her: A touching story about loss and what a man does to remember, and how that affects his life going forward.
Overall I enjoyed the volume. B. C. Young has a knack for storytelling and keeps the reader interested from start to finish. Even though each story was completely unrelated and stands on its own, they all have similarities and common threads that show Young can write. Looking forward to a few more short stories from him (never thought I’d say that…)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
D. Ryan Leask
on Sep. 15, 2011 :
In a Nutshell:
A group of five borderline Science Fiction tales:
Copy Bird: A man in a post-apocalyptic world befriends a talking bird that leads him to an unexpected discovery
Going Home: A man on leave from the military re-visits his family and makes a promise that he must keep
Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban: What if the government banned coffee? Bad decisions will be made and riots will ensue, all together the makings of a bad day!
The Present: A good friend offers a gift that will last a lifetime.
Running To Keep Her: In order to stay close to his deceased wife a man begrudgingly lives his life the way she wanted him to but a chance encounter helps him see that there should be more to it.
I received a free copy of Free Bird a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed the story! I was expecting more great writing from B.C. Young in the collection and as of yet am not disappointed. Going Home is a great story with a very heartfelt message then it is followed up by Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban which is a lighthearted and fun look at how dependent we are on that hot black beverage. I can't wait to read The Present and Running To Keep Her.
Thoughts Upon Completion:
After reading all five stories I firmly believe that B.C. Young is a tremendous story teller and can always wind a good tale and really make you think. All of the stories in Unspoken Words, although very different, bring messages of hope and understanding to our world and the way we think about it. I am now a fan!
According to the introduction and the inclusion of the post he made about writing slowly for quality and then the reply about how that has no bearing on how well you write, B.C. Young wrote many of these stories in a short time frame. You can't tell. Each story is well thought out and well executed. The only technical error I found was the phrasing of "Once in a while" which the author kept writing "Once and a while" but that just may be a dialect thing, not sure, just the only little stumble I found, I sure didn't stumble through the stories as a matter of fact I read the entire group in two sitting and wanted more!
Thanks for Reading
D. Ryan Leask
5 + 4 + 10 = ☼☼☼☼☼
(reviewed within a week of purchase)