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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).

I post my reviews to:

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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tesseracts Seventeen

Tesseracts Seventeen, Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon (ed.), Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2013

Here is another compendium of weird stories from north of the border, in Canada.

A new mother can't leave her baby alone for a second, out of fear that The Wall will devour the child. It's a creature that creeps along walls, looking like a shadow, and with very sharp teeth. On the other side of The Wall is a land of torment straight from Hell. Another story looks at the difference between people who are spiritual without believing in a specific religion, and those who are absolutely sure of the infallibility of religious doctrine, for instance, without being spiritual. What if all newborns are genetically tested, and the "non-believers" are killed?

A doll tells a little girl a story about vultures who go down chimneys, and kidnap little children as they sleep. They are taken to the deep, dark Underground, where the goblins live. The "lucky" ones are cooked and eaten, and the "unlucky" ones are sent to the mines as slaves. A young man visits his grandfather's grave, which now has an interactive video of Grandpa (the software needs some diagnostic help). He also burns his worthless Ph.D. in Education, because there no longer are any live school teachers.

All over the world, strange spheres appear and tell people "touch me and you will get twenty thousand dollars" (or win a cow, or save one hundred acres of rainforest, etc.). Their prizes come due in sixty days. Do they actually get their prizes?

As usual with this series, this is a first-rate group of stories. They are not specifically science fiction, or fantasy, or horror, but somewhere in the middle. They are the sort of tales that could easily be on a TV show like The Twilight Zone. It is very much worth reading.

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