Fourth Degree Freedom

Rated 3.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Fourth Degree Freedom explores the best of humanity and the worst. The stories range from hopeful realism to the dystopian side of speculative fiction. Each story twists and turns through darkness and light, settling somewhere in the shadowy area of day to day life. More
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About Libby Heily

When asked why I write, I usually stutter out a made up answer that I can't remember three seconds later. I can't remember the very first time I decided I wanted to write, it's just something I kind of always did. I wrote really bad poems as a kid, then horrible short stories as a teenager and then passable plays in college. I'm an adult now (and nothing you can say can make me change my mind about that) and hopefully my writing has progressed with my age. When I'm not spending my time with made up people in made up places doing made up things - some would call it lying- I'm generally reading, running, watching sports, drinking good beers and eating too much food with the hubby. I'd love to tell you I'm a mountain climber or an astronomer or something cool like that, but I'm not that cool. In truth, some would say I'm nerdy. But the Dr. Who poster above my computer would beg to differ.

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Reviews

Review by: Amanda McNeil on July 4, 2012 :
A collection of five widely varied short stories.
"Thank You For Calling"--A day in the life of a woman working for a call center during the Recession.
"The Event"--A dystopian future where once a year male teens and young adults go out and shoot the elderly.
"Fourth Degree Freedom"--A post nuclear war future where some children are born as different degrees of "monsters."
"The Last Six Miles"--A woman gets over her divorce by becoming a runner.
"She Floats"--A woman wakes up in a tank with limited oxygen left and a man observing.

Overall, this collection starts out average, strengthens, then crashes at the end. I also believe Heily may have trouble finding an audience due to the variance from literary to dystopian and then to horror. I would advise her to take the two strong dystopian stories and either make them into novels or write more scifi short stories and repackage them together. Similarly, the literary fiction I believe would strongly appeal to many modern women during this current recession. If she adds more literary stories to these two and packages it as a type of collection for the modern woman, she could have great success with them. The last story must be re-done or trashed, however. It sours the rest.

Essentially, if any of the short stories above appeals to you, I would encourage you to get this book. It is only 99cents, and a good short story is definitely worth that.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
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