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Strange Waters (A Phoenix Fiction Writers Anthology)

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Nine science fiction and fantasy stories:

Barnaby Brown and the Glass Sea- by. E.B. Dawson
An unorthodox professor of archaeology sets off to find his own answers about an unusual archaeological find, accompanied by an accident-prone student in need of extra credit.

Finer Things- by C. Scott Frank
Two star-crossed lovers must decide what price they're willing to pay for a
Published October 19th 2019
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Finally contributing my own review of this awesome anthology. Is it self-aggrandizing of me to call it that when I wrote one of the stories in it? Perhaps, but given that most of it is by other people, I don’t think so.

Let’s take these one by one:

Backpack Boy

I was very much not okay after reading this story. But in a good way. Which makes no sense, but it’s very often the effect that Nate Philbrick’s writing has on me. He has a truly remarkable talent for pulling on a reader’s heartstrings
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I keep saying it and it doesnt make it any less true. I am so so proud to be part of this anthology. We as a group have been through a lot this year. I have been truly blessed to have the prayers, the support, and the love of each of these PFW members in my life, above and beyond just the aspect of my writing and my business.
Watching how we grew and thrived this year has been mind-blowing to me, and I don't know how I would have gotten through things without them.
That, of course, doesn't
Hannah Heath
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am so incredibly proud of this anthology. Because I'm one of the Phoenix Fiction Writers, I got a lot of behind-the-scenes looks at what each of us went through to write our contribution to this anthology and let me tell you: We went through a lot. And now our stories are out in the world and I think my heart is going to explode. Before that happens, let me give you a quick review of all of the incredible stories in this collection:

Backpack Boy by Nate Philbrick - This story will break your
Erin Dydek
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phoenix-fiction
Overall Rating and Review: 5 out of 5

From the heights of surviving the toughest trials to the depths of overcoming the sharpest pain, the 2019 Phoenix Fiction anthology will challenge you to see with a fresh perspective and navigate through the strange waters of life. Be prepared for an emotional ride that will leave you satisfied at the end of each tale. I loved reading stories from authors whose works I had previously had the opportunity to read, but I also enjoyed a wonderful introduction to
Bethany Fehr
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been looking forward to another Phoenix Fiction anthology pretty much since I finished reading their last one, and I was thrilled to recieve an advanced review copy. The title Strange Waters is very fitting: all of the stories feature characters exploring uncharted territory and take place in settings where bodies of water play a prominent role.This collection has also introduced me to uncharted waters within the imaginations of all the Phoenix Fiction writers. I've been introduced to the ...more
Aristae Henricus
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My heart is overflowing with so many emotions after finishing this wonderful anthology; I have no idea how I'm going to sleep tonight.
I laughed, cried, gasped in horror, nearly fell off the edge of my seat with suspense and cheered as I read these nine stories. I want to get several copies and share them with my family because they need to read it too.

Here are my thoughts on the stories contained:

"Backpack Boy" by Nate Philbrick

A clever, sweet story about difficult things from a child's point
R.M. Archer
*squeals* This anthology was so good! Thank you so much to PFW for the ARC. :D

The Backpack Boy: This story was so well-written and endearing. It so perfectly captured the imagination of a little kid, the interactions between the elephant and the backpack boy were so sweet, and the twist was wonderfully executed.

Finer Things: This is one I struggled to connect with. From what I can tell, it's set in the same world as Frank's Echoes in the Black series, and I probably would have been more invested
Katelyn Buxton
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the tremendous pleasure of receiving an ARC of this wonderful anthology, and while I missed the boat on the “advanced” part of this review copy (college has a knack for running you over like a freight train), I still enjoyed every minute I spent inside its pages.

Backpack Boy
Nate Philbrick

I don’t think I expected the first story to be such a tear-jerker, but it was. I hardly ever cry over books, and yet this quiet little tale of boyhood courage struck home. What at first appeared to be a
Nate Philbrick
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's tough to review an anthology that you're a part of, so I'll make this short. Now...not every single story here might suit my personal taste. But I've witnessed the creation of this anthology from start to finish. I've seen how much work and meticulous care and love has gone into each story, as well as the hardship and obstacles going on behind the scenes for many of them. After this anthology, I have a newfound respect for each of my teammates.

Keep an eye on the Phoenix Fiction Writers.
Emilie S
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anything from this great collection of writers goes instantly onto my bookshelf.
Including this fantastic Anthology. Check it out for yourself!
Laura A. Grace
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This anthology is phenomenal!!!!

I was deeply impressed and was caught off guard by the tears I cried when reading (especially that first story)! These authors are superbly talented and I'm sad I'm done reading. If there goal was to share more stories, but also entice us readers to check out their other books, mission accomplished. I WANT MORE!

It's so hard to say which story was my favorite because each story tugged at my heart or made me laugh or made me cry. (Wait, did I say that already? No?
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating Averaged: 3.7, rounding up

Strange Waters is an anthology of short stories by indie authors that I was sent for review. Below you can find individual reviews of the stories in the collection. As is usually the case with this kind of collection, there were some stories that I loved and others that I was less enthusiastic about. Overall, I do think this is worth checking out! All opinions are my own.

Backpack Boy by Nate Philbrick: 2.5 stars

This story feels a bit like an outlier in the
Azelyn Klein
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Review originally found on Word Storm.)

I’ve been on a sci-fi kick lately. When the Phoenix Fiction Writers announced a collection of short stories with water-related sci-fi—oh my goodness so much yes! As somebody who has lived in Hawai’i and is in love with the sound of lapping waves, the smell of sea salt, and the thrill of the ocean and how freakishly big it is, I was a little excited for this collection. Of course, I can be a little picky about my underwater stories and my sci-fi, but I was
E.B. Dawson
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Just when the leaves are turning yellow and falling to the ground and the thought of the long winter ahead begins creeping into everybody's mind, Strange Waters gives you the chance to get away! The changing leaves and call of the Canadian geese always gives me a bit of wanderlust and this anthology fully met that craving for traveling, adventures, and newness.

Backpack Boy is sweet, sad, nostalgic, and comforting. This Winnie the Pooh quote sums it up perfectly: “If ever there is tomorrow when
Janelle Garrett
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Michael Lee
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was good anthology! I liked the water theme, and I liked many of the stories within it. Altogether, it was entertaining, and individually, some of these stories were beautiful.

Backpack Boy
This one was crafted perfectly, making me re-read it the second I finished, picking up on subtle hints and clues dropped throughout the story. I have never cried while reading a book, but Backpack Boy had me close to tears. It was an emotional story without leaving me feeling angry, depressed, so on and so
This was the first Phoenix Fiction Writers anthology I've read, and I quite enjoyed it. Each story had phenomenal world-building, and I enjoyed pretty much all of them, in different ways and on different levels. I may be a little biased towards authors I've already read as my favorites were probably Nate Philbrick's Backpack Boy and Kyle Robert Shultz's Ric Vayne and the Curse of the Ghoul Nebula. As for authors who are new to me, I really enjoyed Hannah Heath's This Pain Inside and E. B. ...more
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I grew up in Southeast Asia. My first experience with America was when I was six years old. Sometimes I amuse my friends by telling them stories of my first impressions of this country (clean bathrooms, Toy Story, Taco Bell, getting lost in department stores).

My family moved to California when I was eleven and completely changed the course of my life. On the outside I'm a well-adjusted American
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