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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Five Minute Science Fiction

Genes, aliens, zoos, dragons, time travel, murder & revenge. It's all here in these 25 short science fiction stories. If you love to read but don't always have time to finish a long story, this is the collection for you. You can read this series anywhere and anytime. Whether you are an avid sci-fi fan or new to the genre, there is something for everyone in these tales. From genetic lotteries and murderous felines to face transplants and dating your own clone, these bite-sized pieces explore how we use our scientific knowledge to change ourselves and the universe around us. This collection of tales comes straight from the mind of veterinarian and scientist Leah Cannon, so unsurprisingly, they are about science, animals and what it means to be human.

Five Minute Science Fiction (SF Short Stories)
Volume One
By Leah Cannon
Independent Publishing Platform
Price $0.99 (Kindle)
99 Pages
Rating 4.5-Stars

BUYING TIME is a quick tale about a person attempting to buy extra time for their cat, and what they have to put up with at the office. The rigmarole they face with the office worker is typical of any office you’ve ever been to for getting something done, and the result is the same also.
BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT ALL THE RIGHT TIMES. Like most great discoveries, it’s the people who are in the right place at the right time who end up with the prize. So it was with the great discovery of time.
VIRTUALLY OBSOLETE. Mason came up with the idea, and created a virtual zoo with real life virtual hybrids of the big cats. But now the board of directors is shutting the zoo down, and retiring Mason, and there’s nothing he can do about it.
RUSSIAN ROULETTE. Mr. Hunter’s genetic maintenance payment is past due, and they are about to take some of his healthy genetic code in payment. But he knows a black market in town where he can swap genetic codes, it’s just that this could be a game of Russian Roulette, if it backfired.
A LITTLE INTERFERENCE. Brick awakes to a voice in his mind. It is the Commander, and he’s being recalled from Earth. But, he begs, the humans are only now studying DNA; he just needs a little more time with them. He’s been here a millennium; another twenty years should be enough time to point them in the right direction. But Commander is not backing down. Brick must return. Only one possibility, Brick must release his mind to the human scientists so they will grasp DNA.
            BABY FACED. Gloria Willis paid Alex Lincoln fifty thousand dollars for a facelift that should have lasted a year. However, after only a few months the wrinkles returned, and she’s mad. But just what will her anger accomplish?
            A HORSE IS A HORSE, OF COURSE. Horses were needed for sports, but their redesign just wasn’t working, so the professor asked his students, “What about a dog?” So the students redesigned a greyhound to replace the horse. So naturally they had to rename the dog.
            YOU WON’T EVEN NOTICE. Larry signed up to watch a few ads for $25,000.00, but it turns out the ads appear when he shuts his eyes to sleep. Now he wants to give the money back, but that’s not possible. However, he can find a number of people to take his place, he just has to sign them up.
            HIS FACE IS UNREMARKABLE. Alicia is at the supermarket when she looks up and see’s her husband’s face. Her husband was killed in an accident, and she had seen his body in a casket. Was it really Mark?
            THEY WILL FINALLY WANT TO TALK TO ME. Jack Steeple, a zoologist, sends his findings to Jennifer from location. She studies the samples and finds their DNA. But this time the zoologist will not be the one people will want to speak with, it will be Jennifer who has discovered something even more special than the zoologist.
            THE CLOUD WHISPERER. Young Ms. Gardner is awaiting word from the university while her parents pray for rain. In fact, her father does some rain dances just by chance that will work. All the time, Ms. Gardner is a cloud whisperer, and finally calls for the rain when the letter from university arrives.
            THE VOICE WILL IGNORE ME. Unfortunately, when you have technology at your command, sometimes that technology takes control and may not listen to you.
            BACK IN TIME. She watches everything going backwards.
            READ THE FINE PRINT. Collette Nguyen visits a DNA Service to provide a DNA alibi but fails to read the fine print.
            LET’S TRY THAT AGAIN. He is being tested. Put in a room with Alex while Carol and Ray watch. Will he fail the test?
            CONVERGENCE. In this one, children are born smart, and then lose their intellect as they age. Is Michaela smart enough to extend her intelligence?
            MIND SPACE. Mindy insisted she join her in a new yoga class called Mind Space, and she freaked out.
            A CUP OF COFFEE. Katrina can’t find the right man. All her dates end with her escaping some fool and regretting ever accepting the date in the first place. Then she gets an idea - why not create a man from her own DNA, someone who would be just like her, but a man. Half way through the experiment, she dumps everything and decides to ask one of her co-workers to have a cup of coffee with her. Hmm, will this one work out, or not?
            A HEATED PROPOSAL. Damon has a plan to entice Eliza to marry him. He has been hatching an egg in the bathroom, and put the egg in a thermos and takes it with him. He finds her with Chris, and challenges him to a dual. Chris wins, of course, but he still has the egg, and it just might do the trick.
            THE FORBIDDEN WORLD. Braydon was warned never to go near the Blue Lake, but something pulled him there, and one day he went. Looking down into the valley, he saw nothing that scared him, and ventured on in. There a naked woman met him, and she seduced him, and then swallowed him. He should have listened to his father.
            MUTATION LOTTERY. Len planned to win the lottery, and with his mutation genes he might be able to do it. 128 million dollars would last him a lifetime, if they didn’t discover the mutated genes.
            DEATH BY CAT. Give animals more intelligence, and soon they will want control, even if they have to kill you.
            WE’LL ALL BE IMMORTAL. David and Soon Hee, are of Korean heritage, but raised in America. He’s campaigning for president, and having an affair with Octavia, a biologist. Octavia has discovered the cure for aging, and with this discovery he will be able to win the presidency, but Octavia wants more.
            YOU WILL NEVER GROW OLD. A mother gives her child away so that she will grow into an adult, but will never become old and die. But the mother misses her daughter and writes letters to her.
            HARNESSING DNA FOR LONG-TERM MEMORY STORAGE. This is the case for storing memory codes.
            THE GIFT OF LIFE. The preacher watched as the new women came from the machines, this year they were silver-haired, replacing the red-haired models of last year. They were given life for advertisement, this year it was a brand of beer, and they were sure to spread the word.
            These short stories were quick reads, interesting, and most dealt with animals or science, especially DNA. Some of the stories may not have technically conformed to a story – beginning, middle, and end. In fact, some of the endings weren’t satisfying. But the stories did conform to the author’s strategy, they were five-minute stories, and what you got out of them was entertainment. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson



  1. Interesting stories, great review. If you want a meal of snacks rather that a full meal sounds like this is for you. But I would want more than appetizers.

  2. Fun stories, but could have been a little deeper.