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Speculative Story Bites

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Fifteen bite-sized stories, offering a sampler platter of fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal horror. Within these pages, you’ll find flower fairies, alien brothels, were-bears, and sentient houses. Step inside a museum where all the displays are haunted, follow a siren into the underworld as she searches for Persephone, and discover the doors that lie, literally, behind the heart.

Featuring stories by Shannon Phillips, Adam Gaylord, Rebecca Roland, Dianne Williams, M.T. Reiten, Larry Hodges, Anya J. Davis, Jamie Lackey, Megan Neumann, Kristina Wojtaszek, Gregory Scheckler, Sandi Leibowitz, Nora Mulligan, Tom Howard, and A.E. Decker.

141 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 9, 2016

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About the author

Sarena Ulibarri

30 books72 followers
Sarena Ulibarri is a writer and editor from the American Southwest. Her short stories have appeared in Lightspeed, DreamForge, Solarpunk Magazine, and elsewhere, and non-fiction essays have appeared in Grist and Strange Horizons. Her solarpunk novella Another Life will be published in May 2023. In December 2023, Android Press will publish her science fiction retelling of The Nutcracker, Steel Tree. As an anthologist, she edited Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers and Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters, and co-edited Multispecies Cities. She also serves as a story reviewer for the Imagine 2200 climate fiction contest.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Ronald Keeler.
846 reviews32 followers
July 31, 2016
This book is a Library Thing Early Reviewer program edition I received in return for a review. It is a collection of short stories. What follows is my impression of each of the stories. The title for the collection is apt. The collection offers readers a chance to speculate. Many readers, many different interpretations. There is an interesting short biography at the end of each story that offers the reader more writings by their favorite authors.

The Business of Thorns by Shannon Phillips Imagine a flower detective. By that I mean a flower who/which is a private detective. Among other things, it leads to some horrible (or great) puns. “That was my first case. I branched out some from there, no pun intended.” (loc 226). Not intended? No way.

Hummer by Adam Gaylord When you can’t be with your real wife (because she died) how far will you go to find a substitute? Here is one possible answer.

The Gift of Death by Rebecca Roland This is a new tale of Death, who/which always takes, but never gives. Maybe this time will be different.

All the Pieces of my Heart by Dianne M. Williams It’s good to surprise you wife on her birthday, but some surprises are too much to accept. And when they are too much, the reaction to a surprise gift might be unnerving.

The Wild Corner by M.T. Reiten There is probably a moral here about the need or desirability of fences between neighbor. Surely there can be a resolution to a dispute better than this.

First Cat by Larry Hodges The presidential cat is here to give advice. One of the best pieces of advice is not to try to be too smart; there are consequences. And then there is the note the cat left behind.

The Legacy of the Butterfly King by Anya J. Davis A story of collections, of those who are the collectors and those who are the collected.

Three Grams by Jamie Lackey Alicia wanted a companion who would be just like her. Daddy always said he would be there for her. Who could be more perfect? But first, there were some adjustments to make.

The Museum of Haunted Objects by Megan Neumann Ellery wanted to find one more truly haunted object. His successor as museum curator, Lyle, would help him find it. Ellery could only express his gratitude in writing.

John Knocking by Kristina Wojtaszek John had discovered doors to the souls, of animals at least, but he had never really understood the voices. Miranda helped to refashion some of the doors. Now the voices were louder. So was Miranda’s.

A Persistence of Ghosts by Gregory Scheckler The Ghosts don’t really go away, they just become something else. And the choice of what they become is not yours.

Ligeia by Sandi Leibowitz Here is an explanation for the existence of the word “Harpy.” Its modern day meaning is consistent with the content of this story of betrayal.

This Old House by Nora Mulligan Maybe the house will be happy now that the doctor has arrived.

Granny Grizz by Tom Howard Doctor Alex thought he had a secret. Now he will get a test from his patient Gabriele. A cold heart will bring a very early winter.

Bittersweet by A.E. Decker Marcel is a specialist in chocolates. There are none like his. He is especially busy on Valentine’s Day. His chocolates promise love for those to whom his customers give the chocolates. Occasionally the taste of his chocolates was enhanced by his magic. But where is the love for Marcel?
198 reviews5 followers
October 24, 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book of 15 short stories! They were diverse and included flower faeries, werebears, cats, butterflies, haunted objects, taxidermy and re-animation.
Profile Image for Carla Girtman.
7 reviews
September 26, 2016
World Weaver Press gave me a wonderful opportunity (free in exchange for an honest review) to review a delightful book entitled Speculative Story Bites, an anthology of fifteen short stories. These stories had every type of character the speculative fan could want: magic, fairies, vengeful trees, androids, and talking cats. While vulgar language in some of the stories was a bit overdone for my taste, it did fit in with the character’s vocabulary and temperament.

One of my favorite stories was “All the Pieces of My Heart.” Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say being a wereteddy bear has its drawbacks. “Wild Corner” is another good story bite of Mother Nature’s revenge. “The Museum of Haunted Objects” although written well, had a predicable ending as did the humorous “First Cat.” “First Cat” did make me laugh at the ending. “Ligeia” explored the development of several Greek/Roman mythological characters and its heartbreaking ending gives the reader a viewpoint on how bad consequences happen to someone without it ever being their fault. Another sad story is “A Persistence of Ghosts” echoes the anguish of memory loss and sacrifice.

Readers and fans of speculative fiction will not be disappointed with the book. It might be short, but it is meaty with stories that allow the reader to reflect on the deeper meaning. All the stories were written well and keep the reader (at least this reader) engaged to the very end.
Profile Image for Jeff Siperly.
62 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2016
I didn't get: "This Old House" "The Legacy of the Butterfly King" "John Knocking" "A Persistence of Ghosts" "Granny Grizz"

I just didn't like it, wasn't what I usually read: "The Business of Thorns" "Three Grams" "The Museum of Haunted Objects"

Really, really liked: "The Gift of Death" "All the Pieces of my Heart"

My favorite of all the stories: "Ligeia" but then again I'm big fan of mythology

It was okay, interesting at least: "Hummer" "The Wild Corner" "First Cat" "Bittersweet"
Profile Image for Sarah Jackson.
Author 27 books27 followers
September 18, 2016
Three and a half stars
A mix of short stories of varying lengths focusing on Horror and Sci-Fi with a little YA for good measure.. Like most collections of short stories, this compendium is a bit of a mixed bag. Some are really well written and captivating, and others are so-so. I particularly liked "The Museum of Haunted Objects" by Megan Neumann. Overall the collections offers a set of easy-to-read short stories.
Profile Image for Pam.
258 reviews1 follower
Want to read
November 24, 2016
I received this book free from the Imaginarium convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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