Almost everyone carries a smartphone these days. They sit in pockets and on tables. They sleep on headboards and are the first things their owners check in the morning. They’ve edged out more mundane equipment like calendars and MP3 players.
They aren’t magical, of course. Or are they?
In Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, 21 authors twist reality and call into question the mundanity we hold in our hands. They ask the question, “Is that smartphone completely explainable by science?” and they decide the answer is a resounding “No!”
From award-winners and bold new voices, from experienced fantasists and professional technologists, these stories are fun, clever, and often positive about the power of technology.
Enjoy new stories from: Rhiannon Held / Manny Frishberg / Edd Vick / H.M. Jones / Kris Millering / Raven Oak / Jon Lasser / Sarina Dorie / Jonathon Burgess / Jeremiah Reinmiller / C.S. O’Cinneide / Stevehen Warren / Aaron Giddings, Sr. / Amanda Hackwith / Dale Cameron Lowry / Dawn Vogel / Kyle Yadlosky / J.S. Rogers / Angela Dell’Isola / Stephanie Djock / A. Moritz
At the intersection of fantasy and technology, iPhones could go either way.
Janine A. Southard writes and edits speculative fiction in between working on videogame projects. She's attended more than the average number of universities, which she claims is a FEATURE not a bug. ("Oxford educated, but Californian at heart;" she's also lived and traveled in Europe, the United States, and Japan.)
Currently, she lives in Seattle with a husband and a cat. The cat pretends to care about this.
I received a copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.
Ten Second Synopsis: A collection of short stories that speculate on the magical and paranormal properties of the smartphone.
If you've ever thought that your phone was possessed, or otherwise controlled by nefarious outside sources then this is the anthology for you! The stories range from servers run by demons to sentient apps to phones that can contact the dead and with twenty stories in the collection, you're bound to find something to awaken the spark of imagination and have you eyeing your smartphone with more than a little mistrust.
My favourite of the collection was "What You're Called to Do" by Dale Cameron Lowry, which features an app with a mind of its own and a gender-twist on the "crazy cat lady" theme. I also particularly enjoyed "Voices From Beyond the iPhone!" which explored the human desire to get in touch with the other side and used a quirky email correspondence format, and "Real Selfies" by John Lasser, a quick dip into the psychological horror genre and a hot potato that no one wants to be left holding.
I love the concept behind this anthology and while some of the stories didn't really hit the mark, there were enough that I enjoyed to keep me dipping into it. I'd recommend this one for short story lovers who like their technology bang up to date.
As with any collection of short stories, there are those that appeal more to the individual reader. That is true in the case of Untethered. The collection has stories with iPhones that help find stray cats, hold magic spells, or serve as platforms to help the user find the "perfect: sunrise. The collection also has stories about cursed iPhones, unauthorized enhanced iPhones, and really stinky iPhones. In other words, you are likely to find at least a couple of stores that appeal to you. Read and enjoy before your phone looses its charge!
Like all anthologies there were stories I like better than others, but all of them had a fun cleverness within the prose that I enjoyed. My favorite story was Specific Wisdom by Kris Millering. If you like reading stories about modern tech with fantastic elements, you’ll love this anthology.
These phones are all more reliable than mine. A creative collection with an engaging theme. What happens if you don't let the magic smoke out of your technology? Here are quite a few answers, some of them the monkey's paw three wishes, some where magic is an everyday occurrence.