***Note: I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.***Division: A Collection of Science Fiction Fairytales by Lee S. Hawke
Genres: fairy tale, science fiction
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A man awakens as a kamikaze soldier in the new War on Disease. A schoolgirl tries to escape her demons through virtual reality. A spaceship engineer mourns the loss of her daughter. Plunge into the cybernetic woods with DIVISION in seven searing new fairytales for the digital generation, brought to life by Hawke’s trademark haunting style.
Disclaimers: 1) I was gifted a free copy of this book to provide an honest and non-biased review. 2) I don’t normally read science fiction. 3) I’ve never reviewed a short story collection before.
There, those are out of the way, so where do I begin? How about Fantabulous! Lee has an incredible story-telling ability and the words he uses and the images he can make you see as he guides you through each story is just amazing. Each one is different and unique, so you never know what you’re going to read next.
I learned as a kid that homo sapiens would rather fight other homo sapiens than microbes. For one thing, it’s easier. And there’s something satisfying about knowing somebody else is the bad guy and seeing them laid out on the street in front of you. Something human.
Microbes? The little bastards just go hide, multiply, and come back to bite you when you least expect it.
You start off as a soldier in a new kind of warfare. One in which you hope humans will win. Next you slide into a world where you plug in, but do you ever unplug? Taking a left at the corner, you go into a world where people no longer connect and talk face-to-face. Until, one day, your DNA profile makes perfect sense with another and next thing you know, you’re asked to “Please Connect.” Go up a level and you’re introduced to a Grey Wall. Does it separate you from the real world to protect you or keep you from contaminating it? Taking an elevator to the roof and you’re shown how easy it is to get beauty. Just a combination of letters and numbers and you can be anything you want. But what happens if the person in control doesn’t agree with your idea of beauty? Ooh! Would a collection be complete without an alien invasion bent on destruction of the world? Of course not. Do you keep hiding? Do you get killed by the aliens? Or do you roll the dice and hope everything turns out okay? And last, but not least, we have the title story, “Division.” A heartbreaking story that transcends time, space, and everything in-between. No matter how far we advance, we’ll never get over the loss of someone closest to us.
There were a few stories I’m going to have to go back and read. Not because they confused me, exactly, but because they twisted and turned and I wasn’t expecting it. My mind didn’t finish wrapping around what had happened before I was happily dashing off to read the next story. I’d have to say that my favorite one was “Please Connect.” Just the thought of still having to have the periodic face-to-face in this day and age of technology overload is a great one. Besides, I’d like to think of it as a love story. I’m enough of a romantic at heart to enjoy those types of stories. However, all of them will stick with me for a long time, in a good way.
Definitely give Lee’s book a read. It’s fascinating and was a lot of fun. Also, it has a really cool cover. That’s good for something, right? 😉