Daniel Vane

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Daniel Vane

  • The Umbrella's Shade and Other Award-winning Stories from the Stringybark Short Story Award on May 17, 2011

    This is a collection of wonderful Australian short stories. The selection is eclectic but reflects the Australia that I know. I am surprised at the winning story. It's very good, but not as good as some of the others. I guess this is the vagaries of judging. What is your good story may be my brilliant one. Perhaps I should become a judge! This book is highly recommended for anyone after a selection of clever, intriguing and delightful stories.
  • Between Heaven & Hell and other award-winning stories from the Stringybark Flash Fiction Award on July 25, 2011

    I dished out my dosh for a second David Vernon edited book and I haven't been disappointed. These are flash fiction stories (that means that they are short and can be read between bus stops). Short they may be but that doesn't mean unsatisfying. A couple of the stories were a bit weird, but then maybe they pushed me out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, an excellent anthology. I am keen to buy any future anthologies. I think he's on a winner.
  • The Bridge — 21 short stories from the Stringybark Fiction Awards on Aug. 22, 2011

    This was a terrific read. The stories are entertaining, at times emotional and sometimes funny. They certainly give a flavour of Australia. I'm keen to read more of these anthologies. Great value for money.
  • Our Name Wasn't Written - A Malta Memoir (1936-1943) on Sep. 06, 2011

    This is a pithy and gritty memoir written by a woman who was in the midst of bringing up a family in the middle of war. The narrator, Caroline Vernon, is frank, fearless and certainly no shrinking violet when trying to get her entitlements from an uncaring military bureaucracy. An intersting insight into the Royal Navy's way of doing things.
  • The Gift: A Short Story for Christmas on Sep. 29, 2011

    A most competently written e-book with no obvious errors or typos. The story unfortunately was cliched with men looking to be bumbling idiots and the saccarine sweet ending could be seen coming. I'm sad that we Christians can be typecast by being portrayed that that what occurred in this story is a miracle. A real miracle will be feeding the masses and stopping war.
  • A Visit from the Duchess and other award-winning stories from the Stringybark Speculative Fiction Award on Sep. 29, 2011

    While I have enjoyed the other David Vernon edited anthologies of short stories, it was with trepidation that I purchased an anthology of speculative fiction. Horror and zombies leave me cold, However I have been pleasantly surprised. This is a top collection of speculative fiction short stories. Many of the stories contain wonderful twists and turns and despite the zombies, I loved it. Another good book to read on the bus. The winning story, "A Visit from the Duchess" is just masterful.
  • Lessons with my Yoga instructor on March 25, 2012

    Disappointing. This was my first foray into erotica in a very long time. The plot is clichéd, the action is clichéd and generally the writing isn't very good. The attempt at humour at the beginning relating to standing like a fool just falls completely flat. With the sex there is no sense of excitement but rather mechanical action - not helped by poor proof-reading. What is a virgina? This is a pretty important word in erotica to get correct.
  • Love, Pain, Blood and Tears on April 10, 2012

    There are some interesting poems here but really the teenage angst is laid on like cement on a brick — thick. There is nothing complex or interesting about Ms Bars writing. Indeed it is repetitive and dull. Where are the scintillating similes and magnificent metaphors — let alone rhyme and rhythm. Sigh.
  • Struggle on April 10, 2012

    There is some wisdom in this little poem and some rhythm and even, gasp, some rhyme. I'd like to see authors put together anthologies and not just one tiny poem in one Smashwords book.
  • The Heat Wave of '76 and other award-winning stories from the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award on April 10, 2012

    Finally some quality erotica. I'm sure there is some good free stuff on Smashwords but I haven't read it yet! The stories here ARE erotic, ARE well written (I found no typos or spelling mistakes or even any grammatical errors) and ARE intriguing. As this is an anthology there are different writing styles but the editor has picked a collection of really sexy material. I'm delighted with it.
  • Soldier of a Once Free Nation on June 28, 2012

    I started off with enthusiasm as I liked the cover but then the old adage came true — don't judge a book by its cover. I got to about paragraph four and gave up. Don't they teach grammar and the use of commas any longer? Without decent punctuation, this story (not matter how good the plot) is hard going. Please learn some grammar and then I'll come back and get beyond paragraph four.
  • u on June 28, 2012

    An amusing story only slightly marred by it being fairly confusingly written - but again, perhaps that was the idea!
  • Marngrook and other award-winning stories from the Stringybark Australian History Award on June 28, 2012

    "People don't understand how desperate you have to be to eat a boot," says one of the characters in this entertaining anthology of Australian history stories. Fiction, fact, faction? It's all here and all fascinating. Does sauce on a boot make it easier to eat? Maybe this book will shed light on this question. I read this cover to cover (does that make sense with an e-book) in 48 hours. Each story is unique and gives an insight into Australian history.
  • The Road Home and other award-winning stories from the Stringybark Short Story Awards on July 22, 2012

    This is the best Stringybark anthology I have read and I have read a few of them now - the variety of story themes is entertaining but more importantly is the quality of the writing. This is stylish writing at its best. As Julie Davies points out in her review - Kerry Cameron's story is just beautiful. It is wonderful to get an emotional response to a short story.
  • The Ass on July 22, 2012

    Erm. Started off well and then petered out around the discussion of his failed marriages and then never got back on track again... Well written though!
  • Gorgeous Soft Leather Baby Shoes From Cutie Couture on May 23, 2013

    This 'book' and say this lightly is simply an advertisement. Lots of assertion and no evidence. Gives Smashwords a bad name.
  • HOT BROTHER on May 23, 2013

    I'd give this a half star. I guess you get what you pay for. Lousy English, lousy grammar, crappy punctuation. Nothing erotic about it.
  • Between the Sheets - Eighteen Short Stories from the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Awards on May 23, 2013

    Looking for porn? Don't bother with this one. But looking for good erotica, sexy erotica, arousing erotica, then this is a beaut anthology. Well presented and very sexy.
  • Wrastlin' Sis - Volume Four: New Sister, New Brother (FREE Short Story) on Nov. 16, 2014

    'Bulging manhood', 'quivering member', 'morning wood', 'steely rod.' Oh for goodness sake, can't we have something more imaginative in the description department? That said, the story was grammatically correct and quite good on the arousal front, which is remarkable given much of the rubbish published at smash words.
  • The Very End of the Affair on Nov. 16, 2014

    I think this is my third SB anthology and as usual it's of high production quality as well a great selection of really very funny stories. Harold Mally's stories 'God with an i' and 'Slop' were incredibly clever. A very entertaining collection of humourous short stories.