Death Ray Butterfly

Rated 3.87/5 based on 15 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.
Download: epub mobi (Kindle) pdf more Online Reader
About Tom Lichtenberg

I've written a lot of stories, and one thing I've learned is that stories have a life. They want to be read, and they're brought to life by readers. Readers give them meaning, give them substance and fulfill their destinies. Stories aren't picky about who reads them. They welcome everyone. Money means nothing to them - they don't care how much the reader paid and they equally don't care how much the author made. Stories want to live and they want to be a part of your life. I often think of them as like paper boats you place upon a stream. You never know where they'll end up!

"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

Learn more about Tom Lichtenberg

Also by This Author

Reviews of Death Ray Butterfly by Tom Lichtenberg

TiraPlum1 reviewed on May 30, 2018

I was attracted to this story by the cover and the title. It sounded edgy and cool, which is a big draw for me. I'll read anything but if it seems to have a spark of something new and exciting, then I'm that much more interested. After reading a bit I could not quite understand what I was getting into. I found myself going back and reading some of the reviews on here to see what others thought about the story. I was very interested, but I just couldn't quite figure out exactly what this story was about. After reading many of the other reviews I finally got it, and I agree -- this book is a mashup of many genres, such as detective, steampunk, horror and sci-fi. This turns out to be a very cool story because the author really does show some incredible skills they way they combine all these different writing styles.
(review of free book)
JayHawkFan1 reviewed on April 30, 2017

This author makes a significant effort to keep the story rocketing along. There are many twists and turns and aspects of many styles (some are used more effectively than others). There were a few places I was completely lost but kept pushing through and it all came together. I enjoyed the author's sheer imaginative energy and determination.
(review of free book)
shanndy reviewed on Oct. 16, 2016

I liked this mixed up story. The author has chops in sci-fi and detective writing, and mashes up a plot that kept me guessing. This writer has a lot of books on here so I'll check out a few more.
(review of free book)
Redondo B reviewed on July 5, 2016

This is like chop soey, which my dad once described to me as everything left in the bottom of the sink at a chinese restraunt at the end of the night, then cook throws it in a pot adds broth and it's 'chop soey' on the menu the next day. This story includes heavy doses of sci-fi, humor and detective tropes, and even manages to cook up a few original twist of it's own. In a few places I felt the author was over-reaching a bit with so many plot twists and characters, but I don't want that to sound too critical. I'll look for more by this author.
(review of free book)
James Jenkins reviewed on Feb. 19, 2015

I read 12% before putting this down. I was not engaged by the story.
(review of free book)
Blaine Zaid reviewed 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)
Martin Sowery reviewed 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)
Melinda Le Baron reviewed 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)
Gary Miller reviewed on Nov. 6, 2011

Great characters and an interesting narrative. Interesting read.
(review of free book)
Joe Jordan reviewed on Nov. 2, 2011

A great story that keeps rolling on.
(review of free book)

Print Edition

Report this book