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Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • 03/2018
  • B07B6BPG2B
  • pages
  • $0.99
M Walsh
Author
Ones & Zeroes: A Short Story Collection
M Walsh, author
Look behind the curtain for 14 tales of horror, action, humor, and fantasy... A babysitter contends with not just an intruder lurking outside, but her own mind…A drug addict saves the world from an alien invasion…In a sleepy town, an abandoned sewage treatment plant houses a sinister force…Man and insect clash in the middle of the night…Mercenaries collide during the sacrifice of a princess…A damsel in distress tries to escape her own story… Vampires, dragons, zombies, giant spiders and more can be found in this collection of stories from author M. Walsh.
Reviews
Though many of the settings and characters retread familiar ground in this eerie anthology by Walsh (The Jinxed Pirate), twisty turns and dark humor knock the 14 stories askew, subverting tropes and turning ideas of heroism and Americana upside down. The only thing standing between humanity and a parasitic alien invasion in “Intervention” turns out to be an alcoholic cokehead a bit slow on the uptake. Is a cheerleader-type high school girl turning emo in “Fitting In,” or is she reacting to something more sinister than teenage angst? “Someone Else’s Story” features a hero who takes on a preternatural villain in a small-town diner. A married couple in “Look the Other Way” find refuge from a bloodthirsty monster at a small-town police station—or so they think. “Damsel” finds the intrepid Gwen being murdered over and over again in every universe, a comment on the practice of “fridging” female characters to give their male counterparts motivation. Meanwhile, in “The Mouse & and the Dragon,” a princess decides to rescue herself after multiple heroes fail.

Not all of Walsh’s stories are as clever in their execution. “Finding Bosco” doesn’t have nearly the same impact as its companion story, “Look the Other Way.” “His Friends,” a meandering tale of a woman stuck at a party with her boyfriend and his buddies, fails to deliver its promised thrills. Two bug stories, “Clash of the Titans” and “My Window,” are all setup and no payoff.

Despite these fumbles, those who calculate win/loss percentages on story collections will be impressed. Walsh’s collection is generally smart and genre-savvy, playing on reader expectations in surprising ways. He doesn’t shy away from camp, gore, crude characters, and twist endings, and even when his stories are heavy-handed, they rarely fail to be fun. Fans of tongue-in-cheek horror and trope-twisting fantasy will not be disappointed.

Takeaway: This collection of horror and fantasy shorts will appeal to genre-savvy fans of the darkly humorous.

Great for fans of David Wong’s John Dies at the End, Richard Matheson.

Production grades
Cover: C+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B-

Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • 03/2018
  • B07B6BPG2B
  • pages
  • $0.99

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