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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Expiration Date

Expiration Date, Nancy Kilpatrick (ed.), Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2015

Many things in life have an ending or an expiration date. It can range from the food in your refrigerator, to the finish of a horse race, to the stopping of a stop-watch, to the end of a person's life. That's what this group of new stories is all about.

Stuck in that split second before dying (or not dying) in an auto accident, a woman gets to see how her family will survive, both with her and without her. Fascinated by death from an early age, a woman becomes an EMT to get as close to death as possible. She learns that when a person's time has come, getting in the way, and bringing them back to life, is not a good idea. Death makes several appearances in this book.

A group of present-day ghost hunters gets a little too close to the ghost of Lizzie Borden and her axe. A young boy is visiting his very sick younger brother in the hospital; the younger brother's life expectancy is down to minutes. Does he tell his younger brother what he really thinks, that there is nothing after this life, except blackness and decay? On the other hand, does Older Brother tell Younger Brother that he is going to nice place full of green grass, where he will meet his deceased grandparents?

When a person dies suddenly, like in an auto accident, is there someone nearby to help them get to the Other Side, or do they have to find their own way? There are a couple of stories about people who, from the outside, look to be in an irreversible coma, but, on the inside, they are very much alive.

I enjoyed reading this book. All of the stories are excellent; some of them actually reach the level of Wow. Only a couple of stories get into actual horror. Death will affect everyone eventually; these tales provide some possible ways that it will happen. This is highly recommended.

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