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The Newcomer: Twelve Science Fiction Short Stories

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From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain's reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger's appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There's even an alien puppy. The stories are: Tithe by Griffin Carmicha From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain's reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger's appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There's even an alien puppy. The stories are: Tithe by Griffin Carmichael Exodus by Alec Hutson First Bonding by Tom Germann Ice Dreamer by J J Green The Nanny by Cindy Carroll Right Hand by Jonathan C Gillespie What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley Lessons Learned by J Naomi Ay The Humra by Laura Greenwood The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S Aaron Repulse by Alasdair Shaw


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From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain's reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger's appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There's even an alien puppy. The stories are: Tithe by Griffin Carmicha From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain's reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger's appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There's even an alien puppy. The stories are: Tithe by Griffin Carmichael Exodus by Alec Hutson First Bonding by Tom Germann Ice Dreamer by J J Green The Nanny by Cindy Carroll Right Hand by Jonathan C Gillespie What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley Lessons Learned by J Naomi Ay The Humra by Laura Greenwood The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S Aaron Repulse by Alasdair Shaw

30 review for The Newcomer: Twelve Science Fiction Short Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zain

    A Nice Anthology! I bought this book from amazon a few years ago. Since then I’ve developed a fondness for a lot of sci-fi authors. Most of those authors never appeared in this book. I don’t choose my favorite authors based on their names, l choose my favorites from their writing. So I’m glad that I found a few in this collection. The Nanny by Cindy Carroll : Cardea and Ianus are happy to be new parents. However, they miss having a social life and a good night of sleep. So? Here comes the Nanny. Soon A Nice Anthology! I bought this book from amazon a few years ago. Since then I’ve developed a fondness for a lot of sci-fi authors. Most of those authors never appeared in this book. I don’t choose my favorite authors based on their names, l choose my favorites from their writing. So I’m glad that I found a few in this collection. The Nanny by Cindy Carroll : Cardea and Ianus are happy to be new parents. However, they miss having a social life and a good night of sleep. So? Here comes the Nanny. Soon, although they promised themselves they would raise their son old school, they rely on the Nanny more, and more. What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford: Now that London is an island, most of the people who live there are wealthy. Tommy, and his cat, Celeste has been eking out a living using Celeste for breeding purposes. Taking Celeste to an appointment, Tommy runs into a “swimmer,” a healthy and wealthy woman, one of those who choose to swim everywhere. So much so, that they are genetically modified, or changing for the water world. He is cautiously pleased that the woman is interested in Celeste. He agrees to meet the woman at her expensive condo, so that Celeste can meet her cat. He meets her cat... And that, my dearies, is that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Megan Williams

    I find it very difficult to review a set of short stories at times as many can be of varying ratings within the Anthology itself. These short stories were perfect for drawing in the readers attention to each writer's work. While reading I felt many of these stories could be a prologue or first chapter in a longer plot. The stories were well written and many were clever, some of course didn't seem to come together in the end or ended too abruptly for my taste. This being said, I shall be looking I find it very difficult to review a set of short stories at times as many can be of varying ratings within the Anthology itself. These short stories were perfect for drawing in the readers attention to each writer's work. While reading I felt many of these stories could be a prologue or first chapter in a longer plot. The stories were well written and many were clever, some of course didn't seem to come together in the end or ended too abruptly for my taste. This being said, I shall be looking into many of the authors, now that I've sampled their work. My personal favorites in this Sci-fi Anthology were "First Bonding" by Tom Germann, "Right Hand" by Jonathan C. Gillespie and "The Humura" by Laura Greenwood. There are of course other great stories within the twelve these were just the ones that left me wanting to add to my to read pile. Aliens, invasions, technology advancement and even a touch of love story this anthology gives everyone a chance to find something for themselves. Overall this collection of short stories is a pretty good read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘The central theme of an arrival by someone or something new...the reactions produced range from hope to fear.’ British author Alasdair Shaw is a highly regarded author of science fiction –Two Democracies (two volumes), The Best Bits of Physics, Walking Through the Past (four volumes), A Very Brief History of Britain, Physics Problems for GCSE among them. Alasdair gained a BA in Natural Sciences and a MS in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge following which he s ‘The central theme of an arrival by someone or something new...the reactions produced range from hope to fear.’ British author Alasdair Shaw is a highly regarded author of science fiction –Two Democracies (two volumes), The Best Bits of Physics, Walking Through the Past (four volumes), A Very Brief History of Britain, Physics Problems for GCSE among them. Alasdair gained a BA in Natural Sciences and a MS in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge following which he specialized in Science and Physics earning a PGCE from the University of Bangor. He grew up in Lancashire, within easy reach of the Yorkshire Dales, Pennines, Lake District and Snowdonia. After stints living in Cambridge, North Wales and the Cotswolds he has lived in Somerset since 2002. He has been climbing, mountaineering, caving, kayaking and skiing as long as he can remember. Landscape archaeology has always been one of his interests. A man with these credentials is a wise choice to serve as editor of assorted authors’ takes on science fiction and this book is rich in variety and techniques of make the bizarre world seem palpable. Alasdair’s Introduction serves as a tempting appetizer for sci-fi fans to read this collection: ‘This collection of short stories was put together to showcase the variety of talented authors writing science fiction today. The twelve chosen come from around the world, including the US, Britain, Canada, Taiwan, and China. Each tale presented here explores the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. And the reactions produced range, as they often do, from hope to fear.’ The summaries of the tales plead to read the entire stories - 1) ‘The world is nothing but a dry husk of itself. Jacob Heinlein has lost his home, everyone he knew, and hope. While on a journey to the mythical ocean, an unforgiving sun beating down on him, Jacob finds himself in a town with a source of fresh, clean water. However, there is a “Tithe” to pay for the privilege of staying. 2) In “Exodus”, the orphaned children of Old Earth are scattered across the solar system, protected from the darkness by god-like beings fashioned from lost technologies. But something has changed. Ancient rules have been broken, and after centuries of isolation one of these beings approaches Mars with overtly hostile intent. A defence must be marshalled, and the coming conflagration could result in the destruction of one of the last bastions of man. Humanity had aimed for the stars and a glorious future in space. The alien’s arrival had tarnished that shiny dream. Now the first AIs are fully coming online, even while the government tries to block their use, and humanity is once again looking to the future. 3) “First Bonding” tells of the illegally-created level 8 AI known as Genghis, and his reactions to an alien attack. In “Ice Dreamer” (4), lab technician Prussis has dreamed all her life of reviving someone from the past. Whilst no-one understands why she keeps trying, she works long hours defrosting heads. In her latest attempt, what happens is the last thing she expects. Then in “The Nanny” (5), the first natural birth in over two hundred years brings a new life to Cardea’s family. Despite the risks, she and her husband are determined to raise a family the old fashioned way. But social habits die hard. The war with a forgotten conqueror has been over for decades, but that doesn’t mean the Earth has recovered. Life in the American Midwest is only getting more dangerous. His town besieged by hunter-killer drones left over from the conflict, gifted high school senior Daniel Bell would give his “Right Hand” (6) to make the Army believe that the machines are somehow not being harmed by their operations. 7) “What Make is Your Cat?” welcomes you to London-Atlantis where, after the tsunami, your cat has higher social status and earning power than you do, and evolution is an elite, designer trend you can’t afford to join. Three-month-old Clem faces his first day of “Kaxian Duty” (8) with anxiety. He is keen to find out what his assignment will be, but runs into distractions on the way to headquarters. Training will be hard. Mistakes will be punished. Oh, and his tail has a mind of its own, which doesn’t help matters any. Ary had known he was destined to be a starship captain his whole life. After all, his mother was Captain Sandy and his father was the guy who was supposed to be Fleet Admiral. However, the prospect of attending the Spaceforce Academy was daunting. Enough to make Ary question his future. In his first few weeks there will be quite a few “Lessons Learned”(9). Bounty hunter Braillen takes a new job on “The Humra”(10) to get close to her mark. When the crew discover her identity she is whisked in front of the captain. She must face her nightmares if she wants to finish the job and realise her deepest desire. New captains take command in a variety of situations. Sometimes the passage isn’t an easy one. In “The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist” (11) , Asarik Leah is sent to replace ShipLord Till and lead his InquiryShip on a dangerous new mission. Tradition demands she proves herself fit to take his place. And in our last story, newly-promoted Commander Olivia Johnson is posted to the destroyer “Repulse”(12. Most of the officers are dead and the remaining crewmembers are exhausted. Johnson must step up to the mark and lead them back into battle despite her personal misgivings.’ Tempting, no - irresistible! This is a fine and varied in topic collection sure to please.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kay Smillie

    Enjoyable and entertaining short tales on different interpretations of 'arrival'. My favourites in this collection are (no spoilers) - First Bonding - Tom Germann Very cleverly written. I had no idea where this story was going, but was very pleased when it went where it did. Ice Dreamer - JJ Green Loved this story. Made me think of the moral and cultural dilemmas which may be involved in our future. Particularly relevant with the recent news of a 14 year old's dying wish. Kaxian Duty - Cherise Kelley B Enjoyable and entertaining short tales on different interpretations of 'arrival'. My favourites in this collection are (no spoilers) - First Bonding - Tom Germann Very cleverly written. I had no idea where this story was going, but was very pleased when it went where it did. Ice Dreamer - JJ Green Loved this story. Made me think of the moral and cultural dilemmas which may be involved in our future. Particularly relevant with the recent news of a 14 year old's dying wish. Kaxian Duty - Cherise Kelley Brilliantly well told tale that was so realistic it had me giggling with laughter. Lessons Learned - J Naomi Ay The pressure of living up to successful generations before you, and what happens when you take a sneaky shortcut. The Hawk of Destiny's Fist I adored this story of secrets kept between generations, and the power of bloody tradition. Repulse - Alasdair Shaw A new leader knows when to put her trust in an already battered and bruised team. That's not to say that the other stories are bad - they aren't - just a little less impactful than my favourites. One thing's for sure, my 'To Be Read' pile will now be the length of the Great Wall of China with the addition of these authors! Well worth a read. I voluntarily read and reviewed an eARC of this title.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Greenwood

    I can't technically rate this book as I have a story (The Humra) included and I don't think it'd be right if I did! However, I did thoroughly enjoy reading the other stories in this collection, and feel like I've added to my TBR list as a result! My short story, The Humra, came about because I love space opera, and was experiencing writer's block on the project I was working on at that point, so I needed to write something different! While it might not be obvious any more, the original influence I can't technically rate this book as I have a story (The Humra) included and I don't think it'd be right if I did! However, I did thoroughly enjoy reading the other stories in this collection, and feel like I've added to my TBR list as a result! My short story, The Humra, came about because I love space opera, and was experiencing writer's block on the project I was working on at that point, so I needed to write something different! While it might not be obvious any more, the original influence was actually Beauty and the Beast!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Meenaz Lodhi

    Once in a while, I really enjoy reading short stories, and these were astounding. Some disturbing and creepy, some classic sci fy, all of them from great authors I admire!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I received a copy of this book and chose to leave a review for other readers. Overall this set gets 3.5 stars. If you love SciFi, this is a set of stories you have to get! It is filled with twelve short stories, so that you can read and finish one or two at a time. The variety of authors, storylines, and settings will keep you reading. I even found some new authors (new to me anyways) that I want to read more from. You can't go wrong with picking up this set.  I received a copy of this book and chose to leave a review for other readers. Overall this set gets 3.5 stars. If you love SciFi, this is a set of stories you have to get! It is filled with twelve short stories, so that you can read and finish one or two at a time. The variety of authors, storylines, and settings will keep you reading. I even found some new authors (new to me anyways) that I want to read more from. You can't go wrong with picking up this set. 

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard Brant

    Wonderfully written, and I don't normally say that about short stories. Definitely worth the read. Good job, Alasdair. Wonderfully written, and I don't normally say that about short stories. Definitely worth the read. Good job, Alasdair.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karl Larsson

    A mediocre anthology, but worth it at the cheap price. A very wide variety of stories; some are really bad, some are OK, and some are good. I found some new authors to check out, so in that respect it was worth it. Highlights were the two weird tales, they were also the ones that felt most like proper short stories: The Nanny by Cindy Carroll and Ice Dreamer by JJ Green. You might also use this anthology to look for new series to delve into.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    A very nice collection of short stories. I enjoyed each and every one of them, but my favorites was about the Kaxians, I believe. A few typos, but very minimal, and not enough to draw me out of whichever story I was reading. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of Sci Fi and/or short stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julian White

    A more than decent selection of new stories from mostly new (to me) writers - with the theme of a newcomer in each, though in one or two that concept is a bit of a stretch. Also included are useful links to websites and mailing lists.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Thorn

    Getting into a serial book rut of alt universies ? Looking for new blood, New hero's, heroines... (Same as drug ?) 2 limbed , 4, more? Give these people a try ! Getting into a serial book rut of alt universies ? Looking for new blood, New hero's, heroines... (Same as drug ?) 2 limbed , 4, more? Give these people a try !

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alasdair Shaw

    Hello. I'm the editor of this anthology, so I'm not going to go on and on about how wonderful it is. Instead I'm going to use this space to tell you about how the project came together. In the summer of 2016 I put out some feelers on message boards to see if anyone would be interested in submitting short stories for a science fiction anthology. As there had been some on the boards that floundered due to lack of a clear focus, I decided on a theme from the start - The Newcomer. I was amazed by the Hello. I'm the editor of this anthology, so I'm not going to go on and on about how wonderful it is. Instead I'm going to use this space to tell you about how the project came together. In the summer of 2016 I put out some feelers on message boards to see if anyone would be interested in submitting short stories for a science fiction anthology. As there had been some on the boards that floundered due to lack of a clear focus, I decided on a theme from the start - The Newcomer. I was amazed by the response, with many authors submitting work. Much of it was written specifically for the anthology. With a pretty tight deadline of 31 October, the quality of the work was inspiring. Then came the hard part, deciding which twelve I would include and which I would have to reject.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Simon Amor

    A good selection of short stories with some interesting topics and ideas that I would have preferred as longer stories!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Diegmann

  16. 4 out of 5

    allen mellor

  17. 5 out of 5

    Drum

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Danko

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara L.

  21. 4 out of 5

    D. E.

  22. 4 out of 5

    B Milburn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jak Kohen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dtsuneo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Derrick Tensley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adry Anguera

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Dainton

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pete Williams

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rodney Forstall

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zoe bradley

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