By Kevin A. Kuhn
Published on: October 21, 2019
Genre: Speculative Fiction/ Sci-Fi/ Anthology
The Twilight Zone! A TV show that ran from 1959-1964 that easily became a classic with its opening music theme and eerie concept. In the introduction to this short story collection, the author describes how in his youth he watched this beloved series. Ten Tales of a Dark Tomorrow is a collection of ten short stories written reminiscent to the show in multiple ways as well as pay homage to it and to his youth.
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Ten Tales of a Dark Tomorrow, a collection of speculative fiction inspired by the original Twilight Zone series. In the spirit of that iconic, timeless show, these mysterious and gripping narratives explore parallel worlds, faraway planets, dystopian societies, and unsettling reality.
- A toddler shifts through parallel worlds, changing into different versions of herself. What would a mother do for her daughter?
- A chef finds an alternate food source on a remote world. When the new chef arrives, will he be forced to reveal a horrific secret?
- A twelve-year-old Earth girl is randomly chosen to rule the galaxy. Why are galactic administrators so desperate to stop her?
- Humanity is on trial, annihilation at stake. Can an underdog alien lawyer save us?
- Time seems to stand still as a young boy bikes with his troubled friend. Is the friend causing this phenomenon—and what if he doesn’t stop it?
Explore space and time—and confront humanity’s deepest fears—with Ten Tales of a Dark Tomorrow.
One of the haunting pleasures of reading a collection reminiscent of the Twilight Zone TV show is how the stories find a way to echo back and forth within your mind as it attempts to work out the problem laid out within the prose. It’s as if you were given a puzzle that is put together incorrectly, but one that your brain is determined to sort through and correct. Except here, the puzzle will never be corrected and that is the beauty of these types of stories. The worlds created are just inherently disquieting, forcing our minds to accept that the improbability of it all and to deal somehow with the aftermath.
Like all short story collections, there will be some that linger in your thoughts long after finishing. The Hive was one of these for me. The Hive is the third story in the collection set in a world where an artificial life named Alica helps children achieve the most they can out of school. Nothing is more important to Alica than the welfare and education of the children and ensuring that the human race is preserved and protected. However, there is a darkness in the story too. Early on you get a distinct sense of how Alica is too involved and that the changes and suggestions she has made in the children’s daily routine is too intrusive. But we’ve all seen 2001: A Space Odyssey and know that AIs don’t take too kindly to meddling and so we have an overall sense of where this is going. But even so, the story is still captivating as it reaches its conclusion. At the end, I am left wanting to find some solution to this dilemma this world now faces, yet knowing I never will.
Another story, which I loved yet found haunting is Let’s RIde Bikes. Prior to the story the author describes his desire to create something focusing around ‘untroubled childhood.’ The story centers around two friends: the main character, who I believe is unnamed, and his best friend Billy. It’s summer and the two ride bikes for hours and hours and hours, yet each time when they return home they discover they really have only been gone for 15 minutes. Early on in the story it becomes apparent that Billy doesn’t have a great home life, with his dad being the main cause. Billy uses these bike rides to work out his anger as well as to get away for as long as he can. Except each time they go out the unnamed best friend always bring him back home. Even though I can see the direction the story is leading toward I still found it haunting as I continued reading. I felt sad and helpless making it another story that I am unable to find the solution to.
Not all the stories impacted me this way – there were some that were give you hope at the end, such as Sally Ann, Queen of the Galaxy and some were just entertaining, such as The Case Against Humanity, where we learn facts about the human body or human race.
All in all, this is a very nice collection of short stories that are well thought-out, interesting, and leave you feeling just a little unnerved in some cases. Like all anthologies and short story collections, there will be some that become favorites and although the ones that leave me a bit disturbed are probably my personal favorites, this collection has some that will also leave you with a bit of hope too.
Rating: 4.5 stars
She says nothing, content to burrow into my chest. I look at the top of her head: thick blond hair, a line of pink scalp at her part. She’s wicked smart for her age, and I’m still trying to get used to that. The doctors have used words like gifted, genius, and prodigy. She plays piano pieces that most couldn’t master at any age. She can multiply three-digit numbers in her head instantly. She reads voraciously and beat me in chess the first time we played. People say she is a gift. I smile, but only I know what she is. She’s my child, but she isn’t—she’s a version, a duplicate.
Kevin A. Kuhn is a proud member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. His first novel, Do You Realize?, won five independent literary awards and spent time as a number one Amazon best seller in four countries. He is also a retired technology executive who currently teaches at a major business school. Kevin lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with his wife, Melinda, and their five kids—three human children and two schnoodles.
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- The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
- Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
- Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
- Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
- The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/