Thursday, June 26, 2014

Out of Here, by Patty Jansen

This week I've decided to review Out of Here, a collection of short stories by Australian author Patty Jansen. I originally picked this up in e-book form for free during one of Amazon's many promotions. As of writing this post it's at $3.99 and while definitely a shorter book it's definitely one of the better self-published books I've read through my Kindle.

Out of Here is another anthology book, collecting numerous short stories written by Jansen, most of which have been published previously in other science-fiction and fantasy literary magazines or anthologies. Some of the stories are just a page or two, while others are much longer. All of them show quite a bit of talent and skill on the part of the author and I'm very glad to have read it. A lot of these stories have a sort of twist or sudden surprise at the end. Granted, after the third or fourth story you come to begin expecting it and you find yourself wondering what the twist is. But in a way, that makes up much of the appeal of these stories. Much like one of my favorite shows, The Twilight Zone, you being guessing at what the twist is going to be at the end of the story, wondering how it's all going to play out, and that becomes part of the fun of reading along. I could very easily see most of Jansen's stories being converted into plots for episodes of The Twilight Zone, although the varying length means some might have to be fleshed out while others are shortened, but she's writing short stories rather than a collection of thirty-minute scripts.

What really stood out in my mind was some of the downright creepy stories in this collection. Jansen manages to go into some areas we often don't talk about and some of the stories actually made me a little uncomfortable. But in a way, that's a very good strength in Jansen's writing because it makes the stories more memorable rather than forgettable.

Again, sorry that I haven't really got a lot to say about this book. It was even shorter than Minority Report and so other than the widest of generalities I can't talk too much about this book. If, however, you're as big a fan of The Twilight Zone as me, then this book has plenty of short stories like that, with some distinctly Australian flavoring added in as well.

- Kalpar

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