Strange Worlds

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Overview

In the future, the love of a young man's life is dying. He would do almost anything to keep her alive...except that! In Dog Man, it turns out that Oscar the tomcat was just misunderstood - with deadly consequences... A love sick young man attempts to tap the power of an ancient religion to secure the affections of a girl on their class trip to Christland... The dead come briefly back to life every year when the astral dimensions align in Day, or Two, of The Dead. A cynical young 'player', adrift in the modern, ...
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Overview

In the future, the love of a young man's life is dying. He would do almost anything to keep her alive...except that! In Dog Man, it turns out that Oscar the tomcat was just misunderstood - with deadly consequences... A love sick young man attempts to tap the power of an ancient religion to secure the affections of a girl on their class trip to Christland... The dead come briefly back to life every year when the astral dimensions align in Day, or Two, of The Dead. A cynical young 'player', adrift in the modern, amoral age meets God on a mountain top and his life is changed forever - but not in the way he'd ever imagined.


WARNING

Some of these stories contain complicated, thought-provoking moral situations and other grownup content that may not be suitable for YA (young adult) readers, JA (juvenile adult) readers, and MA (mushy adult) and PA (pseudo adult) readers. These stories do not contain any gratuitous violence or titillating sexual content. The writer assumes no responsibility for any anxiety or stress the reader may suffer as a result of consuming these stories.

Traditional sci-fi/fantasy and satire from the author of Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam. Clayton channels the spirits of Huxley, Orwell and Philip K. Dick in these and ten other intelligent, provocative and highly entertaining stories.


WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING

"Thank you for writing this. This is the sort of book I was hoping would begin to spring from the Indie world. No way would NYC Corporate Publishing ever allow something with this world view through."

"What the... Somebody get a rope!"

"... I expected Strange Worlds to be about dystopias, supernatural monsters, zombies, and futuristic technologies, but now after reading this collection, I realize that the stories are about us."

"This is a #%!@# outrage! I can't believe that in this enlightened day and age a writer could actually get offensive garbage like this published in a book and sell it!"

"Clayton leads the modern reader through dark and dangerous territory, but the gems they will find there are worth the risk. Very few Indies would have had the courage to put their names to something like this."

"This is blasphemous... taking these kind of liberties with the word of God. He'll burn in hell for this!"

"... while you are being taken away to a place and time which is... strange and... disturbing... the humanity of (most of) his characters will make you feel right at home; of course, you'll want to leave a light on."

"This has got to be some kind of hate crime. And if it ain't, we need to get some more damn laws passed. Call your Congressman or woman and demand they do something. Now!".

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-06
Clayton (In the Shape of a Man, 2013) delivers 14 sci-fi tales. These eclectic stories feature many of the political riffs and future-shock themes found throughout classic sci-fi; they're also loaded with enough tragic irony to satisfy die-hard Twilight Zone fans. Some of the best include "Dog Man," about Steve "Cap" Crowley and the other residents of Penn's Village Nursing Home, plagued by a cat with a sense for who will die next; "Day, or Two, of The Dead," in which benign zombies visit from another dimension to bond with loved ones (or failing that, annoy former acquaintances); and "A Working Man," which reveals a future not unlike that of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where frequent, pointless hookups are the norm—until a rugged loner teaches the lovely Lenina what "gentleman" means. For the grandly comedic finale, "2038: San Francisco Sojourn; The Wrath of God" features Christ returning to find the law-abiding (and prescription-medicated) populace infantilized by left-wing policies run amok. Everyone must wear safety helmets at all times, and fast food meals come with condoms. Disgusted, Christ begins incinerating transgressors, only to be outdone by rapping, nuke-obsessed North Korean President Kim Young Moon. Elsewhere, author Clayton lovingly hints at his influences in clever, poignant stories. "Remembering Mandy" offers shades of Philip K. Dick, as Henley, last survivor of World War III, prepares to sell the memories of his wife to a corporation in exchange for eternal youth. Clayton's cybernetic humans, enfeebled outcasts and future societies parade maniacally from his fertile imagination; Henley, for example, has "an auto-heart, Mylar veins, sponge lungs and a CPU-driven spleen and kidney." Shorter tales, like "The Triumph," "The Thing in the Box" and "About Our Cats," are stunningly compact, envisioning fascinating scenarios readers will want to explore further. Overall, a cutting wit drives commentary on everything from race and religion to father-son relationships and the elderly. One too many portrayals of young people as texting-happy dolts, however, might date this volume in years to come. Hot, glowing sci-fi nuggets.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475233933
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This collection of short stories was an extremely interesting re

    This collection of short stories was an extremely interesting read.  In the warning above, the author states that these stories present thought-provoking moral situations and this was an accurate statement.  There is a very definite school of thought behind these stories, and I am fairly certain that my personal beliefs and views are probably not the demographic for which this anthology was intended.  However, this didn't in any way impede me from the deep thought and intellectual consideration that these stories inspire.  It is safe to say that perhaps I took different messages from some of the stories than that which may have been intended, but that is the beauty of it... the ability to take something  from them.

    The Thing in the Box was not a happy story, but one filled with issues that challenge you to really think about life and priorities.  There are themes of race and eugenics/selective breeding presented in a very stark and disturbing way.  This was a story that has stuck with me, long after reading it.  Remembering Mandy, too, was a story that makes you think about the value of technology and priorities in life.  Just how much technology is too much?  What is important to you, to important to sell out?  I think my favorite story was Anything, a story that truly challenges you to think about human life, the value of it, and how far you would go to preserve it.  This one was disturbing to me on so many levels, but one that caused me to really examine some things.  Gentle One was another story that makes you look at humanity and the  inherent prejudices that come along with it.  The prejudice in this one is very extreme, but it makes a valid point about how the same issue can be seen so very differently.  The final story in the anthology, 2038:  San Francisco Sojourn; The Wrath of God, was disturbing in a different way.  This presents a dystopian future with deep religious tones, very hell and brimstone.  The world created is one that I hope never comes to pass.

    The stories in this anthology make the reader think.  They challenge beliefs and values and take you places that may disturb you.  They all reflect a future that is plausible in reality, which truly deepens the "creepy" factor of the issues presented.  In that way, these stories carry a bit of a cautionary warning.  There are moral messages in them, many of which are definite statements on the presence or loss of faith.  Again, because of my own personal values and beliefs, it is highly likely that I took a different perspective on many of these stories.

    Things to love about Strange Worlds...

       --The pull to challenge one's values, beliefs, and opinions on some rather intense issues.
       -- he potential for some of these stories to represent a plausible future in our own reality.

    My recommendation:  A deeply intense read that will really make you think!  

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