Seven short stories of the future: a robot is abandoned by his human buyer when she has second thoughts, a frustrated employee has a rude awakening when his computer starts managing his career, the caretaker of a lonely space station gets a shock when a couple of unexpected visitors show up, and more!
Electric Dreams (SF)
Seven Futuristic Tales
By Deborah A. Bailey
Bright Street Books www.brightstbooks.com
“A Feel of The Twilight Zone.”
This collection contains seven interesting tales of the future: 1) ON THE BEACH 2) BETWEEN THE MIRROR AND THE HEART 3) ELECTRIC SCHEMES 4) STRANGER IN TOWN 5) WHEN WORDS LEAVE OFF 6) ROOTS OF DECEPTION and 7) A PLACE IN THE WORLD.
ON THE BEACH features a lone woman on a space station, her only companions are computers, and they’re slowly taking over all systems. She thinks about the beach, and how nice it would be there among people, when she suddenly hears voices. Children’s laughter. She can only question the computer if she is going crazy.
BETWEEN THE MIRROR AND THE HEART was my favorite story. A human woman purchases a Companion, a male robot named Kyle. But problems arise when she discovers she is in love with him. Leaving him alone, she travels to another planet on her job, perhaps to put him behind her and find human companionship. While she’s away, Kyle meets another Companion, and when her human becomes ill, and she must leave, Kyle invites her to stay with him. Will this complicate things?
ELECTRIC SCHEMES follows an office worker and his computer. He’s being taken advantage of by his boss, and the computer doesn’t like it.
STRANGER IN TOWN is more an Urban Fantasy, about a woman who lives in poverty until she meets a stranger who offers her marriage and a future. But he’s somewhere far off, and she’s waiting for his return, and the fulfillment of the promise. A good story.
WHEN WORDS LEAVE OFF is really part of the same universe that we find in the following two stories. Lt. Commander Tasha Grant and Benjamine Tragg are researching language encryption and it is time to present their study to the Commodore and visiting professors. They are on the ship Marlo above the planet Demeter, where Fleet Base Three is located. Meantime, Tasha is preparing for a concert, and time is pressing. I really like what the author says in Tasha’s voice: “Even if I hadn’t won, it was worth it to have competed. It’s not about being judged, it’s about being confident in who you are and what you can do.”
ROOTS OF DECEPTION: Akida Shera, the Kuhani and Kasi (religious leader) of the planet Tulluran, must help her people rebuild their civilization after the Kellian occupation. The Terrans have set up Fleet Base Three on Demeter, and offer protection against the Kellians or any other invaders, but things are not as simple as all that.
A PLACE IN THE WORLD still follows Sheras kuhani, the Kasi religious leader, as she must maintain control of her world, even if it means challenging the governing body and the Commodore on Demeter for power. There is much division between the people on the subject of the Terrans having power on their world.
These were all interesting yarns, with a touch of the Twilight Zone in a few, while the last three stories introduces us to the beginnings of the Hathor series. The planet Demeter will also be in that universe. But take each of the seven stories for their own brief read for what they are, science fiction from the mind of a fan. I think readers will enjoy them. I know I did. Highly recommended.
Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES