A.M. Hiss


I am a software engineer living in Rockford, Illinois.

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Friends and Allies
Price: Free! Words: 60,580. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age
(2.00 from 1 review)
Tyler and Abraham aren't friends. But they have this arrangement, solidified in a contract they signed in the fifth grade, which states that each of them will come to the other's aid in any time of need. Between the ages of ten and eighteen, they invoke the contract numerous times. But it isn't until Tyler starts his first year of college that he realizes what he had in Abraham.

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A.M. Hiss' favorite authors on Smashwords

Christien J Heslop
Latest book: A Lingering Odour of Citrus. Published July 22, 2017.
Steven Jon Halasz
Latest book: Space Cadets: Explorer. Published January 14, 2019.

Smashwords book reviews by A.M. Hiss

  • Quickies on July 24, 2017

    These stories were original, strange, rather silly, and surreal to the point of nihilism at times. The deliberate lack of meaning amused me. I really could not predict what was going to happen next because most of the stories defied all traditional storytelling tropes. I enjoyed 'From Outer Space' a lot, and also the one about the colonists on the new planet, although I'm not sure what it was getting at regarding the differences between the genders. I would recommend reading this collection if you're in the mood to give your mind a good stretching.
  • Almost Love on July 29, 2017

    I enjoyed this thoughtful set of short stories. Although they took place in a variety of settings and ranged from realistic to magical, they had something interesting in common: at least one character who really wanted to love and be loved, and was willing to settle for someone who was good enough. This could be seen as a cynical message, if the reader believes anything less than true love is a bad thing. But to a more pragmatic reader, all loves contain imperfections. Some, like the protagonists in Skunk Runs Away, Letter to Prosecutor, and Lil Darlin, are lonely, latching onto the first available suitor. Others, like the characters of The Best Night of My Life and The Woman Who Came to Dinner, are pressured by the societies they live in to find that perfect match before they grow old. Many of the couples have to adjust to each other's differences. Some of these relationships end up darkly, with death, un-death, or severe abuse for one or both parties, and the stories seem to caution innocent women like Skunk Runs Away and the Russian lady to beware of predatory men coming to sweep them off their feet. And the poor couple in Tunnel of Love never get to be together at all. But with the last story, we are left with a message of hope. Sometimes 'almost love' is good enough to make us happy for awhile.
  • Space Cadets: Moon Calling on July 29, 2017

    A fun adventure story about teamwork and courage. I like that the heroic actions taken by the children were realistic and believable. The story reminded me of some of Robert Heinlein's juvenile novels, but for a slightly younger audience. I would definitely read more sci fi shorts by this author.
  • Space Cadets: Academy on Dec. 03, 2017

    This sequel to "Space Cadets: Moon Calling" is more mature in its subject matter than its predecessor. An exaggerated look at some of the painful problems inherent in working as a team, the story may raise a familiar cringe in anyone who has experienced the dreaded group project. The expected ending would be a magic bullet solution that combined everyone's talents for a last minute success, but thankfully that is not where Space Cadets: Academy chooses to tread. Instead, the characters learn a few lessons the hard way. The characters in this story also experience more complex emotions. College and boarding school students in particular will relate to some of the adjustment issues the characters face while living away from home for the first time. It's unclear how old the first year students are (Tim and Tom seem to be in the same class?), but they appear to be confidently past the awkwardness of first crushes and well in command of their romantic selves. Fans of "Almost Love" will recognize a bit of Halasz' cynicism here. The story ends on a hopeful note. The characters have few physical achievements to be proud of, but they have grown as people and will be ready to tackle some adult-size problems in the next installment.