Love science fiction stories that all include elements of Love, Murder & Mayhem? Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superhero and supervillain stories. AI, off-world, and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob! With tales ranging from wild and wacky, dark and gritty, to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ Colchamiro. You’ll never look at Love, Murder & Mayhem the same way again … and that’s just the way we like it.
RUSS COLCHAMIRO is the author of Crackle and Fire, Fractured Lives, Hot Ash, and Blunt Force Rising, the first four books in the sci-fi mystery series featuring his hardboiled intergalactic private detective Angela Hardwicke. He is also the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany sci-fi backpacking series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the sci-fi mystery anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, and contributing author for his newest project, Murder in Montague Falls, a noir novella collection, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ has contributed to several other anthologies including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, They Keep Killing Glenn, Altered States of the Union, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Brave New Girls vols. 3&4, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, and Footprints in the Stars.
He is now writing the third book in the Angela Hardwicke series.
In addition, Russ hosts the Rockin' Rollercoaster podcast, where he interviews various Sci-Fi, mystery, crime, and horror authors.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife and their twin ninjas.
For more on Russ’s works, visit www.russcolchamiro.com, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Blue Sky, YouTube and Instagram @AuthorDudeRuss.
‘Love, Murder & Mayhem’ is a collection of 15 short stories from different authors. The book offers a wide variety of plots, characters, world settings and themes. Yet they have the common themes of Love, Murder and Mayhem.
I am not a sci-fi buff but I enjoyed this anthology immensely as the author have done an excellent job of keeping things simple yet interesting. From a AI detective, to sleep surrogates, to the cleanup crew – the stories encompass a wide set of characters in different world settings that keep you involved and invested in the stories. I absolutely loved 13 out of the 15 stories and the 2 that I did not enjoy as much was so because of my own limitations when it comes to sci-fi. I am pretty sure that a sci-fi buff will enjoy all the stories in the book. My favourite story in the book is: The Note on the Blue Screen by Mary Fan.
★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- This is the strongest collection of stories that I can remember reading in the last few years -- 15 stories and only 1 that didn't work for me (it was fine, I just didn't think it took advantage of the SF setting). I really would like to post a few paragraphs about each story -- but wow, that's too much to write and/or read. Especially when you can just go buy the book and read them instead. Each of these stories, all some sort of Science Fiction -- some space opera-ish, some hard SF, some goofy, some super-hero based -- involve the three things mentioned in the title: love, murder and mayhem (all of which can be interestingly defined, but they're there). Despite knowing this about them, I wasn't expecting some of the stories to take the turns they did -- especially the murder part, which frequently showed up when I wasn't expecting it (or at the hands of someone I didn't expect). Check out the Spotlight post I did earlier today for more details.
So let's focus on a couple of the standouts.
* A Goon’s Tale by Kelly Meding It was clear from the early pages of her MetaWars series that Meding knows how to write super-heroes. This story about the insurance agents that have to clean up after them, as well as Super Villains (and their goons). Nice twists and development of the characters. * The Responders by Michael Jan Friedman So, what happens when a super-hero team breaks up? What if there's a Yoko figure who may be at the root of it? I don't know how many Star Trek novels by Friedman I read back in the 90's (apparently, it was 2 -- he only has 2 listed on his website, I thought the number was higher), it was nice to see that he still has that touch. * The Note on the Blue Screen by Mary Fan I think it was this story that really clued me into the fact that this book was going to be good all the way through -- a story about an android that solves mysteries, has a close connection to a human and pays tribute to A. Conan Doyle's most famous creation worked better than I thought it would as I started it (or than it sounds as I describe it). I would absolutely read more stories about Sherlock. * As Time Goes By by Patrick Thomas This Mortal Coil by Peter David, Kathleen David , and Sean O’Shea Simply put, there's nothing that Peter David can't write, and his co-authors here do a good job honing that. The super-rich and super-responsible are able to get people to sleep and dream for them to maintains high levels of productivity. Great concept and then building on that by asking, what happens when the person you dream for dreams about a murder? * DuckBob: Killer Service by Aaron Rosenberg What happens when a souped-up version of Alexa gets absolute power. It's funny, as well as fun and thought-provoking.
I left off my favorite from this list, because I don't think I could keep things to just a couple of sentences. But all of these stories (well, 14 of 15) have a great hook, some great characterizations and an ending you wouldn't be able to guess right away. Not a stinker in the batch -- I expect that many readers wouldn't agree with my disappointment with one of the stories, so I'll go ahead and make that bold claim.
I frequently lament the length of short stories -- not any of these, they are full stories, with well=established characters and worlds -- I don't need any more of them. I wouldn't mind revisiting some of these characters in similar stories or full novels, but I didn't object once to the length or depth. Just a really strong anthology.
Go read this.
Disclaimer - I received a copy of this book as part of my participation in the Book Tour.
For the sake of clarification, this is a crossover anthology that combines science fiction and mystery. Although there are romantic relationships, readers looking for conventional Romance genre elements will be disappointed. Love can be found in these stories, but HEA is optional. Expect the unexpected.
I received a free copy of Love, Murder and Mayhem edited by Russ Colchamiro in return for this review. I recognized a few author names such as Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and Robert Greenberger from the covers of professional Star Trek novels, but their stories are very different from Star Trek. This is an original anthology. None of the stories have appeared anywhere before.
My personal favorite of these stories was "The Note on the Blue Screen" by Mary Fan. This is a highly unusual Sherlock Holmes story. I need to mention that I have never been a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, but contemporary twists on the Sherlock Holmes character can engage my attention. Mary Fan gives us an AI (Artificial Intelligence) named Sherlock who is a detective with a loyal female Watson who repairs the AI when it can't repair itself. I thought the st0ry was clever and original. I also loved the relationship between this Sherlock and Watson. I am an instant fan of Mary Fan, who I've never read before. I will definitely want to read more of her work. She also co-edits the Brave New Girls anthologies which are YA science fiction stories that are intended to encourage girls' interest in scientific fields.
The stories that I liked in this anthology made it worth reading, but the discovery of author Mary Fan made it notable.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was looking forward to reading this book as something different than I had been reading lately and it did not disappoint. I am not typically a reader of AI and other sci-fi books but this book offered a good break from the rom-com, paranormal, and western romances that I typically read.
If you are looking for something a little off your normal beaten path, I recommend you give this book a try. It offers a taste of a variety of genres that are sure to touch on a subject you enjoy reading.
A collection of cosmic short stories written by different authors about, superheroes, supernatural powers and robots far more human than humans themselves.
This book a highly entertaining with good length short stories. They are not too short, not too long but they do provide enough information about each world and atmospheres it's set in. Most of the characters are well written, fully matured and have a purpose (either it was good or bad but still a purpose)
Fractured and The Hardwick Files didn't really live up to my taste, but I fell in love with:
Invasive Maneuvers by Hilady Silverman it was funny and with just enough alien much. It had war it had diversity and it reminded me of hotel Transylvania.
The Note on the Blue Screen by Mary Fan Sherlock is a super intelligent AI who solves mysteries (hints the name), her roommate Chevonne slash sidekick aka Watson comes home to find her best friend had just committed suicide.
OMG this one made me have more than a few sheds of tear, it is the best human/robot relationship I've read with great investigation story.
I'm defiantly will be checking more stories by these two.
The book also contains a number of other good stories; Super Mom's Cookie Caper, A Goon's Tale and Rhe Responders
4 out of 5 stars.
I received an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange of an honest book review
Disclaimer: This book was kindly sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
Let me start by saying that this is by far one of my favourite anthology that I read in the past couple of years (4.5/5 stars). It contains 15 stories that play with science fiction and mystery elements. I couldn't imagine that an anthology with such diverse stories could work, but it does - you have Mars colonies stories, alien stories, superheroes stories, detective stories, droids stories, you name it, then throw in a sci-fi settings and you have it. But the reason it works so well, it is the good story-telling and skillful writing.
Short stories are hard because they have to hook you as soon as you start reading and leave you satisfied in less than 100 pages! But these stories catch you and keep you entertain and then deliver an ending you did not expect - well, there was one story when I saw the ending and was not surprised and wished the author would change it last minute. But one disappointing ending out of 15? I can't really complain. These stories are strong and feature great, well-developed characters.
I just finished the book so I find it hard to pick a favourite. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the superhero stories (especially the first one, it's a good one to start the book with), and I could not publish this review without mentioning that there is a story tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock Holmes as an AI.
What I can say is this - if you like Black Mirror, then this anthology is pretty much like it.
This is a super entertaining collection of unpredictable, well-written tales. Each story is dramatically different from the others in subject matter and tone, yet they somehow all work together in this book. One of the most original and fun anthologies I've read in a long time. Highly recommended!
Editor Russ Colchamiro has assembled a great line-up of authors for a wild and unpredictable collection of scifi mysteries. Many of the author names I've seen before and some were new. The stories range from intense to hilarious, but all of them compelling. Every reader will be sure to have their favorites, but overall this collection is a home run.
I bought the paper copy of this book at Shore Leave last weekend, and here it is the next weekend, and I'm done! This is the first Crazy 8 Press book I've read so quickly, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. That's not to say the other C8 books I have (anthologies only) were less interesting, just that this one hit the mark for me, bang-on. Each story has its own element of "love, murder & mayhem," in varying degrees (some with distinct surprises and twists) and all held me to the end. I can't even pick a favorite, though I would ask that you not kill Glenn until I can ask him more about "Make it Didn't Happen."
Love, Murder and Mayhem is a fifteen story collection filled with superheroes, sci-fi action and lots of humour. This anthology was a refreshing surprise for me because I’m not usually a fan of science fiction or superhero stories and yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading these delightful little gems. There isn’t one that I can single out as having not been enjoyable and it’s very hard to choose one that would be my favourite. Super Mom’s Cookie Caper is a cozy little story about a superhero mom trying to keep her identity hidden from her children. As Time Goes By is funny in its own strange and devilish way and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the maître d’ be brought down a few pegs. All of the stories involve, as the title implies, a bit of romance, a tidbit of murder, and best of all, lots of great humour. All of the authors are incredibly talented and at the end of the book there is a bunch of mini-biographies about each author. I’ll be sure to check out some of the other books written by these authors and I love when an anthology provides these bits of information for the reader. The most unique story in the collection was written by Glenn Hauman, called Make It Didn’t Happen, in which Kelly’s future self is quite deranged and has the ability to travel through time. Imagine how you would stop yourself from being a future murderer. This collection is perfect for that easy vacation read where you just want to be amused and not read anything too deep. This wonderful anthology of talented authors makes this book an easy choice to make.
The tagline on the cover - ‘Cosmic Tales of the Heart gone Deadly Wrong’ - sets the mood of the stories wrapped inside this anthology bundle. Also, the stories live up to the book title and give you a generous helping of love, murder and mayhem / chaos.
This collection with stories from 15 authors has super-heroes and super-villains; in diverse sci-fi futuristic worlds with other world creatures, artificial intelligence and space as well as time travel thrown in to complicate things further. The stories are wild, wacky, dark, gritty, heartbreaking, fun – in short, an entire bouquet.
Authors who have contributed to this mélange of sci-fi jumble: Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas,
Editor: Russ Colchamiro.
A lot of sci-fiction stories that I have read either created a different futuristic world or they set you thinking. The story collection here isn’t set in any particular universe nor intends to focus on it. Each story stands in its own world, own universe.
The focus is NOT the technology of the future. Focus is people and their perspective of things. The perspectives are different and interesting since they are set in a different world. It is interesting to see how people (and lets include aliens in this as well) react to the situations.
Some of the stories have interesting concepts of the future – like the sleep surrogates – people who will sleep for you while you benefit from 24 ‘waking’ hours every day to accomplice whatever you want … uninterrupted.
Overall, a good set of stories to read.
Addendum - I wrote a good review about the book and still rated it 3 and not 4 or 5. More than the quality of the book, it is reflective of my own perception and expectations. I have been spoilt by Isaac Asimov and Philip K Dick as far as sci-fi is concerned. They set me thinking by their space age stories. They introduced you to mind boggling technologies of the future without even making them the core of the story. Their stories always had the human and their emotions at the core. This collection attempts to do the same and have managed it too … but the comparison with Asimov and PKD will always be there. Just like the comparison of any action thriller novel with those written by Ludlum and Reilly.
There are several good gems in this sci fi, mystery collection. My rating 4.25.
This is an interesting collection of 15 short stories with superheros, villains, detectives, and aliens. Several of the stories are good mysteries and others were wonderfully funny with twists. There were a couple of stories near the beginning that left me wondering what was the goal or purpose; perhaps the authors have better longer works, but the shorts seemed incomplete with abrupt endings. It is worth reading beyond these to get to some marvelous stories.
The middle three stories are my favorites. First, The Note on the Blue Screen by Mary Fan. The primary character, named Watson, is a genius with a humanoid roommate designed as ‘Project Sherlock’. Sherlock takes after her name sake as a detective complete with a bad habit of taking drugs. One evening Watson returns home to find Sherlock sprawled on the sofa. Whether she is a victim of suicide or murder, the police won’t care. Waston finds a blue screened note that is supposedly from Sherlock but doesn’t quite fit her writing and phrasing. Watson knows it is up to her to decode the message, determining the clues that Sherlock left to solve her last big case. This was fun deduction and one of my favorites.
The next is The Hardwicke Files: The Case of My Old New Life and the One I Never Knew by Russ Colchamiro. This story involves two friends, a murder, a fire and an open and shut case… or so it seems. The protagonist is an investigator whose gut tells her that there is something in the facts that has been overlooked. This is another good mystery unraveled.
A third good story is As Time Goes By by Patrick Thomas. This is the story of a small-time criminal, a Daring Don’t named Tempus Fugitive. After serving time for his crime he is convinced by his wife and a hero Daring Do to use his powers for good. His change of heart isn’t appreciated by everyone. There are those that insult him and his wife and then there are those who try to blackmail him. This ends with an ironic twist.
Also fun were The Responders by Michael Jan Friedman, Invasive Maneuvers by Hildy Silverman and DuckBob: Killer Service by Aaron Rosenberg. I enjoy reading collections like this because it gives me a sample of writing by authors that I can search out. I recommend this collection to readers who enjoy short sci fi stories and mysteries.
I don't like sci fi though i love anthology. This book has a good collection of stories with romance, revenge and murders. All stories have a sci fi background. Usually, we see a lot of imagination in scifi stories but this book has a combination of emotional stories.
I should really appreciate the editor for selecting good stories and sequencing them well.
Though I couldn't relate to one or 2 stories, most of them made sense and they are interesting. The cover of the book and the title are very apt. I felt that most of the stories are a bit lengthy. This is my first sci-fi book and i really enjoyed reading it.
I personally liked the story 'fractured'.
I would recommend this to scifi lovers who want to try something different.
PS: I have received this book from the author and this is my honest opinion on the book.
The problem about anthologies is that there are always going to be stories you enjoy, and others you didn't. For me personally, about half of these short stories were very 'blah', quite bland, not captivating and instantly forgettable.
I wanted more mayhem, I like dark stories that can be uncomfortable to read, but unfortunately most of these shorts were uncomfortable in the sense that I was checking how many pages were in each as I began another, just so I knew how much I had to push myself through.
I'm not saying any of the stories in here were bad, because they all seemed to have their own purpose, it just wasn't what I was expecting when I picked this up. I wanted more emotion, more mayhem, more murder, more superheroes and more excitement. There were too many detective / civil servant stories for me - I enjoy watching these sort of stories, and I enjoy true crime, but I (personally) find reading about one character in a detective type story quite boring because there's a lot of standing around and drinking coffee. That being said there were a handful of shorts that I did quite enjoy. Most were towards the end, I've heard of 'save the best until last' but it took me putting this book down for a week and reading two others in between to get to the majority of the better stories.
A Goons Tale by Kelly Meding - Good opener, about a superhero related insurance company (great concept) with a nice twist. Story of revenge and decision making, good and bad.
The Reboot of Jennis Viatorem by Karissa Laurel - This is more like an in-between of a story. We arrive after a big event, and it finishes before the next important event. A sci fi story about a mother and son. One of the longer stories, but because it didn't go anywhere I found myself just getting into it as it finished.
Fractured - Robert Greenberger - Quite a slow build up. When you're writing a sci fi story, you need to explain a bit more about the world and tech rather than expecting people to know what you're talking about. Get's quite sinister in a very over the top way
A Matter of Principle by Lois Spangler - Follows an AI police / detective and a murder. Quite a quick read, but a storyline I would rather watch than read about. The ending didn't make sense
The Case of the Missing Alien Baby Mama by Paul Kupperberg - Enjoyed the style of writing the most so far. Follows a journalist who writes for a paper that specialises in the unexplained, paranormal and supernatural. An alien murder mystery with a twist
Super Mom's Cookie Caper by Paige Daniels - Follows a superhero who also happens to be a mum of three kids who know nothing of her secret identity. I liked the idea of a 'super image' which completely changes the look and build of a person, rather than the usual 'I'm wearing an eye mask so no one knows it's me now'
The Responders by Michael Jan Friedman - Follows a group of people with special abilities (Kind of like Watchmen) who team up. I liked the topical references (E.g. an offhand comment that they 'took care' of a North Korea missile incident) Intriguing with a genuine mystery element. One of the better stories
Invasive Maneuvers by Hildy Silverman - Vamps, werewolves, witches humans and now...aliens? Neighbourhood watch type of story. Enjoyable
The Note on the Blue Screen by Mary Fan - Explores addiction but with an AI. Great mystery, I think this would work well as a short film because it's very visual. Lots of clever clues (some almost to the point that it would be impossible to crack, but it was fun to read about this woman who can think so far out the box that colour hues have relevancy)
The Hardwicke Files: The Case of My Old New Life and The One I Never Knew by Russ Colchamire - Detective. This time arson. The story is set around a musician and whether or not the fire was intentionally done to harm him. Nice twist
As Time Goes By by Patrick Thomas - Baddies and Goodies story. Explores discrimination against ex badguys who have done their time. Quite info dumpy at the beginning with conversations telling not showing. Started out quite interesting but went from 0-100 very quickly with no reasoning other than to have an antagonist for a big ending, which was unnecessary
This Mortal Coil by Peter David, Kathleen David and Sean O'Shea - Very cool concept, having someone dream for you so you have more hours in the day to be awake and productive. Lots of twists, enjoyable
Speedeth All by Meriah l. Crawford - Great sci fi world, humans 'searching' (read -invading) another planet with big lizard creatures. Soldiers and a predictable (but not in a bad way) government response to people lower down on the chain
Make It Didn't Happen by Glenn Hauman - Time travel story, interesting but ultimately pointless because nothing was explained
Duckbob: Killer Service by Aaron Rosenberg - A silly but fun ending, about a man who is also a duck (because aliens..) and a killer Alexa (oops I mean Iris..but same thing) A Fun read, but with all the references to him having sex with his human girlfriend it's a bit of a weird picture...he literally has a beak...
an expansive series of stories that run the gambit of human emotions, even when the definition of human is kind of vague. I definitely enjoyed Aaron Rosenberg's contribution, and will be keeping an eye on this author in the future. an all around solid offering