My self-published short story collection of Sci-Fi: Space Police Files is about to turn one year old! See below for a brief commenary of SPF in the 28th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards:
“These stories were highly entertaining. I appreciated the minimal descriptions of the different aliens. The short story style definitely helped with limiting the amount of info-dumping that can occur with this genre. My favorite was the Nematoadian Xyrus. He had such a positive outlook on life, despite having to put up with what seemed like a cranky old mentor. His abilities were fun and unique. Aside from this character, many of the other points of view blended together. The author has a casual writing style that is very approachable, but it meant many of the characters had the same style of speaking or thinking such as Pipani and Linh. It’s not that egregious of a thing in a short story collection as it would be in a novel.
While it was a nice touch having these stories connect in small ways, it left me wanting a more fleshed out story. Perhaps that is where the author will take it next. The author did a great job of painting a picture of a future Chicago with a poisonous Undercity. It left me wanting more world-building. The same could be said for character development. It’s hard to understand Linh’s attachment to Barry when we get such little background and time with the character.
I appreciated the references to pop culture, such as page 150 where it is said that only the worst vampires sparkle. However, the author should be careful of taking invented ideas and passing them off as their own. There are several references to “blurnsball,” such as on page 107. This was created by Futurama, and I am not sure this would simply count as a reference or homage. That said, this was an action-packed and entertaining read.”– Judge, 28th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.