Disclaimer: This book was kindly sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Love, Murder & Mayhem: Cosmic Tales of the Heart Gone Deadly Wrong
Author: anthology edited by Russ Colchamiro
Published on: June 2017
Goodreads synopsis: Love science fiction stories that all include elements of Love, Murder & Mayhem? Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superhero and super-villain stories. AI, off-world, and space cruiser stories.
Review: The reason I accepted this book for review was not only because I am a big lover of science-fiction, but because I wished to read more short stories. And so far this is one of the best anthology I have read. It features 15 strong short stories with a science-fiction setting, each revolving around love, murder or mayhem or a mix of all of the three elements!
I usually avoid short stories because it’s harder to set the plot, the characters, the world and make the reader to fall in love with them at the same time. Most of the short stories in this anthology catch you from the first line and pull you into such a well-developed story with strong characters, which is why I am so glad I got the chance to read this book!
It is hard to imagine that an anthology with such diverse stories could work, but it does. The stories, although so different, somehow fit under the same cover, mixing science-fiction with crime or mystery. Each author has a strong voice and a skillful craft, although I have to admit I preferred the writing style of some over the others – but I expect this will differ from reader to reader, and in the end all 15 authors had a great contribution on this collection.
Not every aspect was perfect – I could tell you an ending that did not satisfy me, or that some stories were a tad bit too predictable, but such small complaints don’t take away from how good the anthology is and how I never got bored while reading it.
The stories vary from your alien reality TV personality and human colonies on Mars to superheroes stories with someone wishing to become a super villain or to a superhero mum and her daily routine life or a mix of fantasy creatures, humans and aliens trying to get along. It is an entertaining anthology and there is a bit of something for anybody – there is even a Sherlock Holmes tribute, that surprised me and pleased me at the same time (lately I am really into Sherlock Holmes… again). Although I do not think I could pick a favourite, I can say that I did not expect to enjoy the superhero stories as much as I did – the first one in the book is really a gem!
If you are familiar with Black Mirror, then this collection is similar. Most of the stories from it could easily become Black Mirror episodes. In the end, this was a fantastic read and definitely my favourite anthology from the past couple of years. It even made me appreciate short stories more and I will definitely keep an eye out for some of the writers.
What is the last short story you read?