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Posted August 15, 2011
The first in a series of monthly anthologies, President Michael Wills' (anthologist) First Contact-Digital Science Fiction features an array of science fiction stories penned by established writers and novelists including Ian Creasey, Ed Greenwood, Ken Liu, among others. First Contact has a penchant to rise above science fiction; each story contains an element or explores certain themes that will form a basis for discussion among sci-fi enthusiasts.
In this compilation of ten short stories, the readership will encounter everything from bizarre and terrifying to psychological and otherworldly. Werewolves, aliens, romance, humor-there's something for readers of all interests. The titles alone are intriguing enough to flip open and begin reading this anthology. Several of the titles include, "Biting a Dead Man's Hand," "Nectar of the Gods," "Black Sun," and "Pop Quiz."
"How I Lost Eleven Stone and Found Love," one of the more stomach-turning stories, features an alien with a peculiar diet, primed for eliciting a wide range of reactions from the audience. In "Masks," Jennifer Povey's post apocalyptic setting will reel readers in as it deals with themes of trust and adversity. Other stories such as "Roanoke's Nevada" and "Hera's Tempest" incorporate adverse situations such as epidemics and machines with the capability to think like humans and read minds.
The essence of each story is distinct, yet when placed together in First Contact, the stories seem to unite in their superior writing quality, the authors' ability to extract an array of human emotions, and a storyline that-although a bit out there-is thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking.
Very rarely do anthologies find the perfect complement of stories to publish; however, First Contact, in its first publication, has achieved a unique, unifying blend of exceptional literary quality, entertainment, and meaningful content. First Contact-Digital Science Fiction is a must for sci-fi aficionados.
Posted August 13, 2011
First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1, is a book full of mind-blowing short stories that will reel you in from page one. First Contact Anthology 1 is the very first installment of a monthly rendition of anthologies. First Contact is made up of ten fictitious short stories written by a number of authors from various parts of the world. Partners Stephen Helleiner and Craig Ham come together with Editor Jessi Hoffman to choose stories that allow the human mind to run wild within the pages of this book. All of the stories feature an easy-to-follow conversational style that grabs the attention of readers, leaving them on the edges of their seats. Each story has its own unique effect, evoking from the reader a full array of emotions. Just when the reader thinks he/she has the story figured out, he/she is left breathless with suspense as the plot changes in an instant. First Contact contains everything readers look for in a great series; suspense, laughs, romance, drama, and terror- all bound in one book.
"How I Lost Eleven Stones and Found Love," by Ian Creasey is the first story in the book. The engaging tale of a boy and girl, and of course, an alien-it's truly everything you would expect in the story of an alien encounter. This one absolutely leaves you wondering about the possibility of such an encounter with life beyond Earth.
From horror to mystery and everything in between, these stories engage the reader with themes that resonate and plots that thoroughly entertain. For example, the thrilling suspense of "Biting a Dead Man's Hand," or a nice, quiet story like "The Caretaker," it's easy to see that the team did a phenomenal job creating the desire to turn the page for more.
If you're looking for a book that keeps your attention riveted from cover to cover, First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1 is definitely for you!
Posted August 10, 2011
First Contact is a compilation of short science fiction stories, the authors of which were the winners of the first Digital Science Fiction writing contest. The works of ten authors are included in this compilation: . Ian Creasey . Ed Greenwood . Ken Liu . Jennifer R. Povey . Rob Jacobsen . Edward J. Knight . Jessi Rita Hoffman . Kenneth Schneyer . David Tallerman . Curtis James McConnell Digital Science Fiction uses a fairly loose definition of science fiction to guide the writers towards the end goal. The definition used is provided by Wikipedia and can be found on their Submission Guidelines page. The writing is good. The Digital Science Fiction editorial team picked ten stories that are very good. The first story, for example, written by Ian Creasey, is about an alien life form that I imagined is the size of a household pet (like a dog or a really large house cat) that helps its owner lose weight in an imaginative way. The next story, by Ed Greenwood, could be described as a mix between fantasy and science fiction that is heavier on the science fiction end of the spectrum, and thus worthy of being published in a sci-fi anthology. All in all, this was a captivating read. I love the short story fiction form because you get all of the oomph of a longer piece of fiction in a smaller package. All of these stories have intriguing twists and turns that show their authors' story-telling skill and proficiency. Even the story titles themselves are appealing. For example, Creasey's story is titled, "How I Lost Eleven Stone and Found Love." Greenwood's story is called, "Biting a Dead Man's Hand." What's also great about this publication is that it's the first in a series of monthly publications that will likely be of the same high quality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2011
First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1 is the first in a monthly series of science fiction anthologies, carefully selected for stories that fused a compelling plot with genuine literary quality. The first issue featured ten short stories, each one a solid selection by the collaborative team of anthologist Michael Wills, Managing Editor, Stephen Helleiner, and Editor, Jessi Hoffman. The stories are written by authors from around the world, including: "How I Lost Eleven Stone and Found Love" by Ian Creasey, "Biting a Dead Man's Hand" by Ed Greenwood, "The Caretaker" by Ken Liu, "Masks" by Jennifer R. Povey, "Hera's Tempest" by Rob Jacobsen, "Roanoke, Nevada" by Edward J. Knight, "Nectar of the Gods" by Jessi Rita Hoffman, "The Tortoise Parliament" by Kenneth Schneyer, "Black Sun" by David Tallerman, and "Pop Quiz" by Curtis James McConnell.
The stories each offer a unique plot, providing readers with a truly spellbinding collection. "Roanoke, Nevada" tells the story of an epidemiologist who is summoned to Nevada by the military to investigate the cause of epidemic disease in an alien colony, ending with a powerful and unexpected to human history, making the story resonate with evocative themes. In "Hera's Tempest", a mission to conquer Hera's tempest gone bad leaves one man to wrestle with his inner demons as he faces off against a half-man/ half-machine who can root around inside his thoughts, reading his mind and his soul. These and other stories truly fulfill the aim of Digital Science Fiction: to compile stories that "not only entertain but offer something extra as well: an aesthetic pleasure, a beauty, or a thought-provoking quality that renders them timeless."
Throughout the stories, readers are kept at the edge of their seats, breathless with the many plot twists and the mastery of suspense that the authors exhibit. Each of the stories are deftly written, transcending the mere creation of a plot and maintaining genuine literary quality, a rare combination in modern writing. After reading First Contact, science fiction fans are inevitably anxious for the next release from Digital Science Fiction, eager for the next installment of riveting and literary stories.
Posted August 9, 2011
First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1 presents a wide variety of compelling short stories that not only possess stirring content, but contain a genuine literary quality that that give them a timeless feel. Selected carefully by the President of Digital Science Fiction, Michael Wills--Anthologist, co-partners Stephen Helleiner and Craig Ham, and editor Jessi Hoffman, each short story explores thought-provoking human themes in the context of science fiction.
First Contact, the first edition of a monthly anthology published by Digital Science Fiction , opens with a bang with stories like "How I lost Eleven Stone and Found Love," (Ian Creasey) "Biting a Dead Man's Hand," (Ed Greenwood), "Black Sun," (David Tallerman) "Hera's Tempest," (Ron Jacobson) and several others.
The First Contact Anthology features unique plots, but more importantly, a structure that is aesthetically pleasing. With short, crisp sentences and effective integration of dialogue, readers will look forward to the conversational tone of the stories just as much, if not more, as the plot of the story.
Readers will encounter pet aliens in "How I Lost Eleven Stone and Found Love," unexpected werewolves in "Biting a Dead Man's Hand," an alien colony facing a peculiar epidemic in "Roanoke, Nevada," mind-reading half-man, half-machines in "Hera's Tempest," and much more. From timeless human themes of fighting one's inner demons and history of humanity to guilt, old age, and nostalgia for the past, First Contact is imbued with themes that transcend story and speak to human emotion.
Overall, sci-fi enthusiasts will relish the entrancing nature of the stories in First Contact. Some will thrill while others will terrify and fascinate; however, it goes without saying that each story will evoke an emotional response. The combination of mesmerizing characters, intriguing storyline, and naturally-flowing, genuine literary quality makes Digital Science Fiction's First Contact a must read.
Posted July 10, 2011
First and foremost, I'm a huge fan of short stories! With that said, First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1 was quite impressive with various short stories filled with aliens. It is quite possible that ever since the beginning of time people have always been fascinated with everything in the sky. Furthermore, People have always been fascinated with the universe. If an individual perform a research of our world's civilizations, they would realize that there are plenty of examples of universe wonderment. In depth, another fascination would be the possibility of life on the other planet.  The professional writers did a terrific job taking their readers through various points of view within short stories, which is in correlation to the existence of life on another planet. It is absolutely amazing that the short stories fused everything together. When I say everything, I seriously mean everything. The amazing writers of this specific book explored our universe in all sense of humor and seriousness. The writers seriously goes into various aspects of extraterrestrial life forms, but through the incorporation of different science and beauties of our own planet with the potential of finding the same on another planet.  I'm pretty sure we've all wondered how the world would be like if other forms of life actually exist. Perhaps we could even adapt to their culture and get opinions of the betterment of society. Growing up, I've always wanted to read a novel that explains and paints a vivid image of the possibilities of living among other people that are not humans and through such epic situations. Luckily, I came across this book and I was amazed by the author's description of each chapter. As I was reading, I definitely realized that everything was quite believable. The fact that readers gets a chance to walk through each chapter is remarkable. Please read this book and explore our universe through the eyes of these great writers. Must read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.