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Trial Period

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4.60  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A short story wherein an unnamed narrator shares anecdotes about a three-year period where mysterious entities reminiscent of genies lurked in the most unlikely of places.
Kindle Edition, 25 pages
Published April 6th 2019 by Ben Haskett
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4.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  10 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Gregg Parker
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This short story starts out interesting - it takes the standard trope of a guy finding a genie in a bottle and turns it on its head by processing the ramifications through a real-world lens and a modern understanding of consent. It was something I hadn’t seen before, but then it settled a bit into routine, as the narrator describes this new reality of genies and all their rules, most of which restricted the story and kept it from going to imaginative places. It switches up again at the end as th ...more
Sef Hughes
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
It's a familiar set-up (a guy in a bar offers to tell you a story in exchange for drinks). Nothing new here. But that's where anything resembling predictable ends. Trial Period is a story about genies, zombies, aliens and tax, the IRS to be specific. I'm not going to tell you anything else about the story because, you know, spoilers. But I can tell you the writing is fast-paced, engaging and very imaginative. It put me in mind of the short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, which is not a comparison I do ...more
D. Peach
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What if genies were real? This short-story/novelette takes place over a few drinks as the narrator fills the reader in on the brief period of years when genies appeared on Earth, offering three wishes. The results are a plausible and troubling glimpse into the less-than-laudable side of human nature.

The narrator’s voice is wonderfully distinct and engaging. His account of the unusual event is matter-of-fact but tinged with wit and sarcasm… before the message turns serious. I read this fascinatin
...more
John
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adore this kind of brief, personal, and thoughtful fiction...in a sense a kind of thought experiment short story like God's Debris or a Black Mirror episode. It carries you away into the imaginative "what would I do in that situation" type of immersion, with an easy-to-read casual and friendly narrator who posits a beautiful concept to consider..."dance like everyone's watching" is a new personal motto :)
Cody Parcell
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A completely enthralling short story; it dives right in with a wonderful narrator and keeps the story alive with every word. The look at humanity as a whole is dark and portentous, and Haskett earns every observation with well crafted stories within a story and pithy description. Absolutely worth the purchase and read.
Rebecca Crunden
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novellas, sci-fi
I think future generations are going to resent us. They’ll ask why they have to deal with the fallout of our decisions. Why they’re isolated in the universe because of our selfishness.

This was quite a thought-provoking short story!
Matthew Summers
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
... huh. Deeper than I expected.

That wasn't what I was expecting for a story about genies in a bottle. And that's a good thing, mind you. Between the aliens, the greed (so, so, SO much greed!), neighbor Bob breaking into the house to force someone to shrink his ah... Yeah that... And all the other messes that we all likely would have gotten into is a very deep, introspective short story about human nature and what someone (... something?) watching from outside must really think of this odd third
...more
Allen Lamb
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun quick story about a modern day genie... is 'epidemic' the word? So, genies start appearing in the world and the world promptly begins to waste the powers on frivolous wishes and nothing good comes from it. The story is told from the point of one genie victim as he intoxicates himself at a bar one glass at a time. By the end, he presents his theory on the genies really are despite his prediction that you'll think him crazy.

It's a story told with a humorous tone but has a rather pessimistic
...more
Ben Haskett
Jul 03, 2019 marked it as books-i-wrote  ·  (Review from the author)
Got 45 minutes for a quick sci-fi read? If so, then head on over to Amazon and grab my short story, Trial Period, which is free from today until Saturday, July 6. In this short story, an unnamed narrator shares anecdotes about a three-year period where mysterious entities reminiscent of genies lurked in the most unlikely of places.
Jareb Collins
rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2019
Nina Haskett
rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2019
Randy Hoyt
marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2019
Nikolai
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May 10, 2019
Alex Perez
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May 21, 2019
April Kennedy
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May 31, 2019
Brittany Westerberg
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Jun 14, 2019
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When it comes to reading:

I'm typically in the middle of two or three books at any given time. My primary delivery system for books is Audible, which my eldest brother convinced me to try just before The Martian came out in theaters in late 2015. I listened to The Martian, and enjoyed it. Then I listened to Ready Player One, and I guess I was hooked. I haven't listened to a podcast since.

I hadn't
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