Review copy provided courtesy of the author.
A collection of stories that run the gamut of humor, scifi, and horror.
First off, I love short stories so, so much. They seem to be a fantastic opportunity for writers to experiment more with weird concepts and interesting endings, and when they're successful I find them every bit as satisfying as a novel. DOOMSDAY FURNACE was unique to me because of the amount of humor, but even more because of how well the humor worked for me (I've noticed that for some reason I can be a real snob about humor in lit, and I hate myself for it).
CHUGGIE AND THE BOTTOMLESS WINE CASK has what may now be one of my new favorite characters. Chuggie is the living embodiment of drought, and he is rude, crude, and hilarious, and the story takes a wonderful (and tentacle filled) turn into the horrific. Plus I've since discovered Chuggie has his own trilogy of books, so you best believe I'll be binging them in the near future.
A FRIEND IN PAGA is proof that even if you find yourself living in a world engulfed by a monster that also infiltrates your dreams, it's your fellow humans you should really watch out for. The twist on this one was lovely!
THE VOYAGE OF THE OM-16 is like CATCH-22 in space, so how could I not love it? There's absurdity after absurdity, and one sane, efficient woman trying to save them all from dying in deep space.
The collection closes with RIDE, a bloody and unsettling tale, that is full of heart....literally and figuratively.
I really enjoyed the variety of the genre and tone amongst the stories, and how well they still felt so connected both thematically, and through Kelley's voice. I will definitely be reading more of his work (and not just Chuggie!).