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Unreal Encounters

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3.29  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Horror, humor, and science fiction collide in this collection of weird tales about possible futures, warped present-day realities, and alternate history.

Unreliable narrators run rampant alongside aliens, ghosts, bullies, cannibals, home invaders, heroes, villains, unimaginable creatures, and gifted individuals of all ages.

Paranoia, fear, and bizarre situations abound in th
...more
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published November 4th 2016 (first published January 1st 2012)
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Bandit
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Can't find the one I read, but it wasn't the entire collection, more like a teaser, maybe 5 stories, just enough to whet the appetite and that it did. The author grabbed my attention with the Soul Smuggler and these stories definitely continue that winning steak of a first impression, this guy can write and has an imagination to go with the talent. The genre here is general speculative fiction, but with a prominent slant toward scary. The genuine scary, that is, the haunting disturbing things th ...more
Tyrean
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange, spectacular, and thought-provoking, Milo James Fowler takes us all on a Twilight-Zone type of ride in his 1 Dozen Short ales of the Strange and Spectacular. A few of the stories were definitely dark in that Twilight-Zone kind of way, but Fowler has a superb writing style. It's not a book that I'm going to give to my kids to read, but if you liked the Twilight Zone series, and are a fan of speculative fiction short stories that will leave you thinking, you will like these stories.
Jessthebookslover
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Quite surprised with this collection of short stories! What I know for sure is that they were a lot better than the last collection I read.
The only thing I wonder is... Why do I always have to read short stories that have weirdos as main characters?!?!?!
Anyway! That's kind of my problem I guess :')
Not 5 stars as they weren't THAT compelling, still really enjoyable!
Grampy
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"1 Dozen Short Tales" by Milo James Fowler is a short anthology of flash fiction (500-1,000 words) tales, each of which has previously been published individually in one of several magazines. It has been my experience that flash fiction anthologies often include a few not-so-interesting tales. However, I found all the tales in this collection to be entertaining.

Considering how difficult it is to compose a complete story that makes sense in as few as 500 words, Mr. Fowler has accomplished a rathe
...more
T.B. Markinson
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m a fan of flash fiction since I love to see how an author can pull it off. It’s not an easy challenge and not many are successful. Fowler’s stories add another level of difficulty since they involve world-building. In novels, this can take pages. In flash fiction, Fowler only has a few words to spare.

What impressed me was how quickly each story pulled me in. And they kept me interested until the end. And Fowler included an introduction to each story and I liked knowing the inspiration for al
...more
Sherry Ellis
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One Dozen Short Tales of the Strange and Spectacular is a collection of brief (1,000 words or less) stories of science fiction and horror. They are all well-written, containing an introduction, body, and conclusion, and pack a lot of punch with relatively few words.

Each story is prefaced with a brief introduction in which the author shares his inspiration for the story and the publishing history of the piece. I found this information as interesting as the stories.

My favorite was "Grandpa's Bluet
...more
Cherie
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unreal Encounters by Milo James Fowler has packed in a lot of great science fiction, horror, and the occasional humor in these forty short stories. This collection is perfect to read while on a lunch break or while exercising on a treadmill or elliptical. I enjoyed most of the stories, although there were at least two where I was a bit confused character-wise who was telling the story. Some of my favorite stories involved the Grey men. They had a very X-Files feel to them. The story with the man ...more
Andrew Leon
I'll preface this by saying that I'm not a fan of "flash fiction." I find it often uses contrived or twist "endings" (How can something only 1000 words even have an ending? Isn't the whole thing an ending at that point?) to be interesting or they spend too much time telling us the back story only to have a few hundred words left to actually show us the action in the supposed story.

Unfortunately, I found this collection to be no different. They're written well enough from technical standpoint, bu
...more
Becky Stephens
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fowler’s mix of science fiction and horror, sprinkled with a dash of humor leaves us with a good variety of short stories. With unexpected plot twists and endings that leave readers with food for thought, this is a great collection of speculative fiction.

I also found it interesting that some stories seem to weave into another, with similar settings, as if we’re getting a glimpse into more than one story in the same timeline. Very clever.

My favorites from this collection are Scuttle, A Monster B
...more
Sandra Lopez
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a collection of short stories that make you question the scheme of things. These twisted tales are certainly full of dark irony and otherworldly elements. You don’t always get them. At times, you reach the ending and go “huh?”

Stories are described as “Twilight Zone-ish,” which is blatantly obvious once you start reading. They’re bound by confusion, mystery, and illusion. You don’t know where you are and you’re out in the middle of nowhere; then you’re taken on a trippy ride and you don’
...more
Tam
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was quite a unique collection of short stories that offered a variety of literary tastes to feast upon from chilling horror to sci-fi with some humor thrown in for added flavor. I liked how some stories seemed to inter-connect with each other. I felt like the collection, as a whole, had a very X-Files/Twilight Zone mashup feel to it. I often wonder where in the world authors like Fowler come up with their fantastical story ideas. Where ever that might be, I'm thankful for their quirky, tale ...more
shannon  Stubbs
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
These stories were pretty creepy. Some of them made me think that the really scary monsters are the ones in our heads. Especially the ones that come around three in the morning.
Tyrean
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unreal Encounters by Milo James Fowler is a great slice of Milo’s excellent short fiction. With over 100 stories published, Fowler chose some of his most chilling tales of humans and “other” life – alien and paranormal. Because I’ve been reading Fowler’s work for several years now and following his fiction avidly, I had read many of these tales in their original publications, but there were some that I had never read before and I’m glad to have some of my old favorites to read again and again. F ...more
Lyndon
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like your flash fiction on the gritty side - with a bit of horror thrown in - this collection by Milo James Fowler is a fair collection. Many of these stories are creepy, even a bit violent, others odd, and some downright bizarro. At least two of them are sample stories from Mr. Fowler's many and varied series, including Soul Smuggler (featuring the anti-hero Mercer) and Captain Quasar.

In this sense, flash fiction can introduce you to a writer's style and characters and can serve as a ga
...more
Darth
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is my first book of flash fiction. It's alright. I enjoyed a few of them. A couple did not make sense to me.

<(view spoiler)
...more
Renee Hall
Apr 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate giving an indie book a one-star review, but I have to be honest, and this collection just didn't do anything for me. Typically I enjoy flash fiction (reading it and writing it), but even for flash these stories felt incomplete and abrupt, as if they were all setup and no payoff, one after another leading up to punchlines that fell flat. Some of the concepts were interesting, but it felt like that was all I was getting -- a sketch of a concept, bare bones and nothing else in the way of cha ...more
J.M.
While I'm a fan of short stories, particularly flash fiction, some of these felt as if they stopped too soon. I know as a writer of short fiction, I hate when reviewers say that about my own work, but some of these stories really did feel like just a toe dipped in a pool and I wanted a lot more because they had so potential and gripped me right from the beginning. I'd love to read something longer by this author.
Jim Brown
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice group of stories

I thoroughly enjoyed all of these stories. I don't usually get into such short ones but they all entertained me and now I will be a fan of this flash stories. Really small stories that can actually entertain you. All of them were good. I am presently surprised. I would recommend this to all my friends.
Beverly
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A flash fiction collection of 12 stories that are from the slipstream, horror, and science fiction genres. I got this as a Kindle freebie. Actually, the writing is fine and the editing is well done, it just didn't appeal to me. Several times I thought--OK, now I'm going to like this one but it never worked out.
Rachel
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
These were all pretty good, I especially liked the one about the house.
Jen
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Lori Niemuth
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Jan 22, 2017
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Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he's not grading papers, he's imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. So far, his short fiction has appeared in more than 150 publications, including AE SciFi, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, and Shimmer. Find his novels, novellas, and short story collect ...more
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