I enjoy reading a short story or two between novels. They're a great way to 'cleanse the palate' after being heavily invested in one fantasy epic or other. I recently picked up a little anthology by CJ Jessop. CJ interviewed me on her blog not long ago, and it prompted me to check out her work - I wasn't disappointed.
Out of the Blue and Other Stories is a collection of futuristic sci-fi short stories that make you think, reflect, wonder and laugh.
Jessop has a gift for making readers look at humanity from a distance, almost Bradbury style. I really enjoyed this critical, questioning aspect of her storytelling. It makes for an entertaining and thoughtful read. The story which is the collection's namesake 'Out of the Blue' particularly had me thinking critically about humanity and our societies - where the most intelligent creatures on our little planet are most likely not us. And I loved the exploration of morality and exploitation entrenched in the act of invasion in 'So shall they begin again'.
There were dark mysterious tales that left me wondering. What are the creatures or aliens that can take life in 'His Plan' and 'Pale Siren'? Some tales were deliciously creepy!
One of my favourites was a hilarious tale called 'Down to Earth', which tells the trials of Selmer - an alien who just wants to make contact with some ordinary earthlings. I chuckled through the whole thing.
I was a little sad when I came to the end. This book had me staying awake when I was dog tired, eyes drooping, just to read one more story. I always know it's a good read when that happens.
I'd recommend Out of the Blue and Other Stories to all lovers of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy in particular. Or anyone who enjoys a good short story.
My Rating - 9/10
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