Review: The Accidental Prologue

The Accidental Prologue by Andre Mazeron is an absolutely cracking time travel short story with a wonderful writing style which endears you to the first person character. The mechanics of time travel are integral within the plot which even describes experiments helping to understand how time travel paradoxes can be avoided.

Review: The Accidental Prologue by André Mazeron

Review: The Accidental Prologue

What an absolutely cracking short story!

The writing style is wonderful, immediately endearing me to the first person main character. This is even more marvelous when you consider that the author is Brazilian and is writing in English as a second language. Indeed, there are a few grammatical errors, but they really don’t detract the reader from the plot. And only a fool would let them.

(In fact, I’d say that André’s writing is on an equal footing with Felix J. Palma of The Map of Time!)

The plot details the mechanics of time travel and even describes experiments which help to understand how time travel paradoxes can be avoided. This is a great inclusion by André who is clearly mindful that science in science fiction needs to be consistent.

In addition to the quality scientific content, André also shows the quality of his background reading in other areas – take for example the name of the book and why it’s so called… Ah well, “If a rose were not a rose…” 😉

Short stories often end quickly and suddenly, giving the reader a sense of “Eh?…Ah yes!”. I was pleased that that this short story continued a little further, nicely rounding things off, and yet still providing me with that “Ah yes!” feeling at the end without any perplexity beforehand.

All in all, this is a fantastic debut short story (or “novelette”) from André Mazeron with great science and its applications in time travel – it’s well worth a read!

Availability

The Accidental Prologue by André Mazeron is available on Kindle at Amazon.com (associate link). It was free when I downloaded it – and at only 21 pages in length you really can’t go wrong!

Rating * * * * *

5/5 stars for a short and sweet time travel short story! 🙂

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Review: Selected Shorts by David Goodberg

Selected Shorts and Other Methods of Time Travel

David Goodberg

I don’t like to write negatively about an author’s creation, but my frustration in ploughing through this collection of ‘shorts’ drives me to vent.

Am I missing something? This isn’t so much a selection of short stories, but more a collection of ideas, each of which don’t seem to have been fully worked up into a coherent short story. Only a handful of them are related to time travel.

Some of the time travel ideas are interesting and hold potential, but the delivery is very poor and the theme behind each story is spurted out to the reader in a contrived soliloquy towards the end of each story. The writing style is telling-not-showing and dogged with the continual use of superlatives with very little description. If this was the ‘most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life’ how did she look? If the main character ‘usually had no problem with small spaces, but this time he did’…why? What was different this time? The flesh around the bones of the story line, for me, rots with leprosy and falls to pieces.

Another nail in the creator’s coffin is the renaming of a familiar object such as a microwave oven, and (re)presenting it as a futuristic invention. Admittedly, it’s not plagiarism or a breach of copyright, but it shows a lack of creativity and is an irritation to read.

I was really disappointed when I read these short stories. I was hoping for clever endings or a twist in the plot…or something. At least a conclusion. Instead, there is just a…stop. Having finished one story, I found myself starting to read the next in two trains of thought; one thinking “surely this one must be better than the last”, or else in a morbid fascination of how terrible a short story can be and providing a source of inspiration in writing something better.

Some reviewers make the comment that the each story is not self contained, but should be read in conjunction with the others. I saw no common line through the stories, no common history, or no common characters. Indeed, there is misalignment between events and dates between stories.

In summary, the pun of a drawing of someone holding up a pair of shorts on the front cover pretty much shows the depth of writing…shallow and childish. It’s a real shame, because I think that with a just a little more thought, these stories could have been something fantastic. Instead, they read as a first draft at best.