Al's Reviews > Twists and Turns

Twists and Turns by Jim Chambers
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Jul 15, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle, read-2011

Short story anthologies are problematic for a reviewer. Some choose to break the collection down into the component parts, and do a mini-review of each individual story. Given my analytical bent, I’m surprised I didn’t take this approach. Instead, the process I’ve fallen into is the same way I used to review music – reviewing the entire work rather than the pieces. I’ll focus on some of the specifics as examples, but for the majority of the review, look for the overriding or unifying theme.

As you should expect from a collection put together by skimming the cream from a large number of contenders, the stories here are consistently good. They cover many genres: Speculative fiction, mystery, fantasy, horror, and contemporary fiction. The surprise endings make them all entertaining as the master storytellers set you up and then throw a curve, catching you off guard.

If forced to pick favorites among these stories I’d choose three. "Building God" for the questions it raises about free will, religion, and science. "42jorie," because of its exploration of the interaction between cyberspace and the real world, is one I find both entertaining and timely. Last, "Granny Theft Auto," which I think says something interesting about humans, both the way we think and the strange ways we have of getting from point A to point B. The fact that my personal favorites are not the top three as chosen by the judges shows what a strong collection this is and how small the difference in quality from story to story. They’re all winners.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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