Specimen & Other Stories

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 review
A six-pack sampler of short fiction by Alan Annand: humor, crime and WW2 adventure. More
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About Alan Annand

ALAN ANNAND is a writer of crime fiction, offering an intriguing blend of mystery, suspense, thriller and occult genres. When he’s not dreaming up ingenious ways to kill people and thrill readers, he occasionally finds therapy in writing humor, short stories and faux book reviews.

Before becoming a full-time writer and astrologer, he worked as a technical writer for the railway industry, a corporate writer for private and public sectors, a human resources manager and an underground surveyor.

Currently, he divides his time between writing in the AM, astrology in the PM, and meditation on the OM. For those who care, he’s an Aries with a dash of Scorpio.

- Writer of mystery suspense novels, and astrology books
- Astrologer/palmist, trained in Western/Vedic astrology.
- Amateur musician, agent provocateur and infomaniac.

- Writing: www.sextile.com
- Astrology: www.navamsa.com

Fiction available at online retailers:
- Al-Quebeca (police procedural mystery thriller)
- Antenna Syndrome (hard-boiled sci-fi mystery thriller)
- Felonious Monk (New Age Noir mystery thriller #2)
- Harm’s Way (hard-boiled mystery thriller)
- Hide in Plain Sight (psychological mystery suspense)
- Scorpio Rising (New Age Noir mystery thriller #1)
- Soma County (New Age Noir mystery thriller #3)
- Specimen and Other Stories (short fiction)

Non-fiction available at online retailers:
- The Draconic Bowl (western astrology reference)
- Kala Sarpa (Vedic astrology reference)
- Mutual Reception (western astrology reference)
- Parivartana Yoga (Vedic astrology reference)
- Stellar Astrology Vol.1 (essays in Vedic astrology)
- Stellar Astrology Vol.2 (essays in Vedic astrology)

- BA, English Lit
- BSc, Math & Physics
- Diploma, British Faculty of Astrological Studies
- Diploma, American College of Vedic Astrology

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Also by This Author

Reviews of Specimen & Other Stories by Alan Annand

Val Tobin reviewed on May 28, 2015

It doesn’t matter what Alan Annand writes, I’ll read it. Over the years, I’ve come to trust him as an author, and when I saw he had a short story collection out, I downloaded and devoured it.

Specimen & Other Stories is a mix of the creepy, the icky, and the hilarious, some of them falling into more than one category.

The offerings begin with the humour piece “Bananarama.” This one also falls under icky though with a side-benefit of laughter. You might think you don’t want to read about someone else’s bowel troubles as he struggles to go vegetarian by eating nothing but bananas and drinking only orange juice, but it’s worth it despite the mental images seared into your brain. I laughed out loud until the tears flowed, and I’ve only done that with a Dave Barry offering before. Kudos to Annand for providing what they call the best medicine.

“The Date Square Killer” tells the story of a hitman scoring a date before he goes to work. The creepiness factor heightens as the killer ruminates on life and social justice. The story captured my interest and held it, a typical feature of Annand’s writing.

“River Girl” is all wry humour and middle-aged angst. Stanley the cad has a life-changing experience with a free-spirted woman he encounters in Toronto’s Don River. It’s an excellent sample of Annand’s writing and why I always come back for more.

“Specimen” brings back the creepiness and dispels the idea that twins can read each other’s minds. Annand plays with twin relationships as he did in “Hide in Plain Sight,” and the results are just as deadly and just as entertaining.

“The Bassman Cometh” takes us back to all-out humour and doesn’t disappoint. I would have enjoyed knowing Annand in university, but perhaps from a distance, as an observer. His description of his escapades with Margaret Atwood again made me laugh out loud.

“The Naskapi and the U-Boat” tells the story of Germans in World War two installing a weather station and finding themselves flummoxed by members of an aboriginal family. It’s the one I found most emotionally engaging as it engendered empathy for the innocent family.

While I don’t typically go for short-story collections, I enjoyed this one. Each story was different though unmistakeably Annand. Well worth the read, and if you haven’t read anything before by Annand, it’s a good place to start.
(review of free book)
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