“Captain Arnold Other Tales of the Abnormal” by Arthur M. Doweyko

This compilation of short stories is best described by comparison. It has the same style and intent as the old “Outer Limits” TV show. Always questioning our everyday reality. Always wondering, “What if…?”

The stories run the gamut of Sci-Fi: a few UFOs, a touch of time travel, a shot of dystopian life of various sorts.  I particularly enjoyed “Retirement.” While the other stories are vaguer about the nature of reality and unreality, in that story the conflict between the two is more clearly laid out. “The Vault” is what is known nowadays as Flash Fiction. It does the same job as the rest of the stories, in less than 500 words. “The Zoo” likewise. Short, snappy, and to the point.

This author has a mature, smooth writing style with quick, evocative setting descriptions and clear exposition of plot, That is, if the plot is intended to be clear. If there is anything hesitant or unsure about what’s going on, your spidey senses ought to be tingling, because if something’s not right, you can be sure that something is really not right.

And then he rather spoils it all with an earnest philosophical discussion on the impossibility of life, which makes a poorer job of explaining the situation than his fiction does. But you have to read it because he throws us a curve toward possible realities at the end.

Sci-Fi short stories highly recommended for fans of the Great Unknown.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)



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