Janet Schmidt

Books

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Janet Schmidt's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Janet Schmidt

  • Otters In Space on July 14, 2010
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    Fabulous! Cats and dogs and otters, and somehow this captures their very different personalities. Well, I've never actually met an otter...loads of fun, can't wait for more.
  • Forget Me Not on July 30, 2010
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    First published story by exciting new author Mary E. Lowd is finally available on the internet in its written form. It is science fiction, but the science is barely fictional and the issues are incredibly relevant. It covers some of the same ground as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but in a less flamboyant and messy way than Charlie Kaufman does. This story is a gem.
  • A Second Enchanted Evening on April 18, 2012
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    This story works on so many levels. It's another thought-provoking, charmingly written story from the pen of my favorite author. The bittersweet tale of a shared reality that makes up a successful marriage that is altered forever by tweaking with the basic presumptions on which it is based. Sometimes starting over is not what you expect it to be.
  • Life with the Tumblers on Sep. 08, 2012
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    Strong characters, family relationships, the innocence of childhood, and the disillusion of adulthood - plus an alien race that confuses the adults, but makes sense to the child. This is a really great story. Mary Lowd's stories are always well-written, with interesting characters - and the perspective she brings to her story-telling will always give you something worth keeping.
  • Hot Chocolate for the Unicorn on Sep. 09, 2012
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    It's a short story with chocolate, a unicorn, and a lovely twist. What could be better? Ms Lowd is a writer of exquisite phrasing and entering her world is well worth the journey. This little story is only a sip, but what a lovely flavor.
  • Of Behemoths and Bureaucrats on Sep. 09, 2012
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    This story always rips my heart out when I read it. I understand from the author that the idea came from a story told by her second-grade teacher, who lived in London during the Blitz. This is a little piece of another world, another time, but it resonates with sadness and truth. Mary E. Lowd is an amazing writer. You will not be sorry you sampled this wonderful short story.
  • The Ambi-Cognitive Man on Sep. 09, 2012
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    As usual, Ms. Lowd's prose is clean and a joy to read, and her story is thought-provoking and will make you think about things you hadn't even thought of before. Her themes of connection and belonging throughout her stories are always rewarding to the reader. Take the leap and read this one - this is a writer you will want to follow wherever she goes.
  • The Necromouser on Sep. 09, 2012
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    Villainous cat, zombie mice...this story is really great! Don't miss the follow-up story Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs. Ms. Lowd, as usual, hits this short story out of the park.
  • Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs on Sep. 09, 2012
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    This follow-up to Ms Lowd's story The Necromouser is fabulous. The zombie apocalypse is closer than you think!
  • Daisy Chaining on Sep. 09, 2012
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    Asimov's Lucky Star is crossed with the guy with the 409 from the Beach Boys song - the result is a short story that left me laughing out loud. I can totally see an entire series about this guy and all the trouble he gets himself into. You will enjoy this one.
  • Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs on Sep. 09, 2012
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    Traveling through the stars can be a lonely life for a child, but Sandy and has her faithful robot dogs, TJ and L2D2, to keep her company. But are they as good as a REAL dog? Sandy's not so sure.
  • The Parable of Two Queens on Sep. 09, 2012
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    This story rocks. Two related races at war, finally finding a connection. This is a parable worthy of a modern Aesop - and the details of the world, and how the language barriers are dealt with are fabulous. Strong characters, strong plot, great message and really engaging prose. Read it.
  • The Parable of Two Queens on Sep. 09, 2012
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    This story rocks. Two related races at war, finally finding a connection. This is a parable worthy of a modern Aesop - and the details of the world, and how the language barriers are dealt with are fabulous. Strong characters, strong plot, great message and really engaging prose. Read it.
  • Slug Time on Sep. 09, 2012
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    Tense? Worried? Try being an invertebrate that doesn't really have a brain for a while. This story takes place in Ms Lowd's Wespirtech universe, where a young scientist, worried her grant will not be renewed, comes up with an alternative use for her research. Clearly, the author understands about grant funding and the pressure to succeed in a competitive, top-end research environment. She's put that to use to create a wonderful universe that, while located elsewhere in the galaxy, is a lot like some places closer to home.
  • Gerty and the Doesn't-Smell-Like-a-Melon on Sep. 09, 2012
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    Gerty is a faithful, if somewhat bored, dog, who accidentally acquires a new purpose in life when she discovers something that "doesn't-smell-like-a-melon" in her master's melon patch. Lovely little story. I've met Gerty's inspiration - a black mutt named Trudy - and Ms Lowd has conveyed her exactly in this story.
  • The Nebula Was Empty on Sep. 09, 2012
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    As I understand it, the inspiration for this story was the irrepressible mutt Trudy (Gerty in Gerty and the Doesn't-smell-like-a-melon, and Trudith in Otters In Space) trying to play with hapless bugs that wandered into her view. This lovely short story gives a heartbreaking rendition of the loneliness of a being who does not understand how to love her new friends without smashing them.
  • Meet Archive on Sep. 09, 2012
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    Good times at the All Alien Cafe. This story takes place in Ms Lowd's Wespirtech universe, where Archive "can weave a yarn like an Abeloid tafetta-spider." But who is Archive and where did he come from? Pull up a stool at the bar and order a drink, this bittersweet story will satisfy you.
  • The Opposite of Suicide on Sep. 09, 2012
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    The story opens with Dennis (Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys?), but this story takes an unexpected twist that will leave you pondering the recursive nature of reality. Strange, but really, really good.
  • Magtwilla and the Mouse on Sep. 11, 2012
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    Heartbreaking story of a mother's love for her children. How does she get inside these characters and imbue them with their very own species-specific, but very humanly recognizable emotions? I am blown away by this story. It does not so much anthropomorphize Magtwilla as get at her essence as a cat.
  • The Third Wish on Sep. 11, 2012
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    Envy will eat you up until nothing is left. In this story of two brothers, set in a magical world with fairies and miracles and power, one brother covets what the other has. The world is engaging, the characters are real, and the lesson is timeless.
  • Rekindle the Sun on Sep. 11, 2012
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    A new life on a dying planet. Ms Lowd, as always, writes strong female characters. This one is dealing with a new culture and a new place, while watching the death of a star and her marriage. It amazes me that someone as young as Ms Lowd was when she wrote this piece (she was only 22 when this story made quarter finals in the Writers of the Future competition), understands so clearly the death of a relationship. A very satisfying read.
  • Harvesting Wishes on Sep. 11, 2012
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    The harvester is old, and no one seems to know where the wishes she sells come from. This magical little story has a surprising amount of depth of character for so few words written. It is a shadow, an idea, a nuance - and it is lovely.
  • The Screen Savior on Sep. 11, 2012
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    The screen savior walks out into the world with a mission - but will the world notice? This is a strange little story, and gives you a peek into the mind of its author. It is a place I like to visit.
  • The Screen Savior on Sep. 11, 2012
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    The screen savior walks out into the world with a mission - but will the world notice? This is a strange little story, and gives you a peek into the mind of its author. It is a place I like to visit.
  • My Words Like Silent Raindrops on Sep. 12, 2012
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    Confucius said “It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.” From Brutus to Iago to Judas to Benedict Arnold to Becky Sharp, betrayal has a rich history in both fact and fiction. And while this short story is located in the Westpirtech universe Ms Lowd has created, with nifty gadgets and the promise of a technological future that looks to be rich and interesting, the pain of betrayal is what this story is really about.
  • St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta on Feb. 09, 2013
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    A hero famed for his deeds, St. Kalwain wants only to be free of his cursed existence. A satisfyingly heroic, but sad hero saves the day again in this lovely story by Ms. Lowd.
  • St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta on Feb. 09, 2013
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    A weary hero, sainted for his many brave deeds, a brave maiden, and a dragon in need of slaying. What more can you ask of a story? St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta is not the usual heroic tale, but somehow it is more satisfying.
  • One Night In Nocturnia on Feb. 09, 2013
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    Randal ventures where no mouse ever should, learning more than he should know or can handle, in this weirdly satisfying cross between Beatrix Potter and Robert Louis Stevenson - the country mouse meets Dr. Jekyll? This is a fabulous tale that you should definitely read.
  • One Night In Nocturnia on Feb. 09, 2013
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    Wonderful!
  • Ursa Major 2012 Short Fiction Reading Packet on March 26, 2013
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    All five of these stories are up for the Ursa Major Short Fiction award for 2012. All five of them! And all five of them are a treat to read, from the very short whimsical Hot Chocolate for the Unicorn, to the heart-wrenching Magtwilla and the Mouse, to the third installment in the Shreddy series, Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost, to the two longer stories St Kalwain and the Lady Uta and A Night in Nocturnia, that each transport you to another time and place. Ms Lowd continues her superb writing, wonderful characters, and unmatched story-telling. Do yourself a favor, read them all.
  • Otters In Space 2: Jupiter, Deadly on Aug. 25, 2013
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    A great read, with something for all ages - talking cats and dogs (and, of course, otters!), political intrigue, social issues, loads of fun and excitement. I love this series. Mary Lowd has done it again. I hope there is a third book (and maybe more)!!
  • In a Cat's Eyes on Jan. 22, 2014
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    Mary E. Lowd does it again - she's captured the essence of a cat and a dog in a very short story with a nice twist.
  • Fox in the Hen House on Jan. 22, 2014
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    A love story where the advice to "follow your heart," turns out not quite as intended. Sometimes doing what comes naturally is what breaks your heart. You need to read this one!