This short novella is one of those deep thinking, thought provoking, big what if’s, sort of story. I don’t think there are any sequels, and this novella ends on a cliffhanger of sorts (a satisfying one but still a cliffhanger -C.L.)
The beginning of this story is a little bit complicated, you don’t really know what’s going on until you start to turn more pages, but then that’s the whole point of this story.
Written from the point of view of Marlon Smith, the story starts with Marlon on a beach in the afterlife. The afterlife is a virtual reality, when the people of Earth die they are immediately uploaded to this virtual world… Marlon witnesses a major black-out across this virtual reality but he doesn’t know why he can see it or why it is happening. As the reader you are as clueless as Marlon to begin with, which means you discover who Marlon is and the secrets behind this story as Marlon discovers them.
It is a superbly written novella, I didn’t notice any errors, and as much as I was confused to begin with, the answers all became clear towards the end. It was short but fantastic, it really made me stop and think about the world, life, and death. There is no right or wrong, no bad or good guys, but this story really does pull at your conscience. Anyone could read this book, children, young adults, and adults included, though children may find it a little difficult to imagine and understand. It is perfect for anyone who wants a quick read but wants something deeper than your standard fiction.
I will definitely be looking at more of Simon Kewin’s short novellas, I think they’re pure genius. If you like George Orwell, but want something shorter and maybe not quite so dark as 1984, then this is perfect. You will find yourself questioning life, your morals, ethics, the workings of the world, everything! So you have been warned, prepare your mind for big questions and deep thoughts.
From The Current Reviews:
The Good: ‘Really enjoyed this short story. Only problem was that I was left wanting MORE!!‘, ‘Just what I’ve come to expect from this author a cracking read full of intriguing science fiction concepts. Just how would you like your after world? And what would you do if the sky begins to fall in paradise? And would you spare a thought for those left behind in the real world?‘, ‘Not bad. quite light has sort of slight steam punk overtones’, ‘Excellent short story. Thoroughly enjoyed it although I was a little confused at the start…all came clear quickly.‘, ‘If it sounds to good to be true you know to start asking questions great story line I loved it and couldn’t put it down trying to work out the answers‘, ‘Funny quirky quick read‘.
The Bad: ‘Tried to be a good story but with terribly weak ending! And the usual – is it going to be a trilogy? – effect.‘, ‘Just a short story and lacks much detail or involvement‘, ‘A fairly run of the mill sci fi adventure’.
The Darn Right Ugly: (There aren’t any! at least not yet. Though on saying that, this book doesn’t really deserve bad reviews. -C.L.)
The Unicorns: ‘This story is a quick read that grabs and keeps the reader’s attention from start to finish. I rate this novella as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘, ‘a unique way of writing and I love his style.‘, ‘Interesting and fresh idea to life after death. Hope there is a sequel to this short read.‘, ‘This is one of Kewin’s best “What if?” stories and would have made one helluva Twilight Zone episode‘.
Release date: 22nd November 2014
Pages: 52 (Yes this is a very short book)
Age Range: 13+
Contains: Scenes and descriptions of violence.
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy
About The Book: Reality is broken…
For Marlon Smith the afterlife is a beach. The computer-generated world his consciousness inhabits provides for his every need. But then flaws begin to appear in the fabric of reality around him. Flaws that shouldn’t be possible. Flaws only he can see.
He has to move quickly, before his actions are spotted and edited out. He starts to uncover the truth of how the afterlife functions. As he does so, he reveals unexpected secrets about his own past, too.
And he also finds out about those who are intent on destroying his whole reality…
Where to Buy?
Amazon: Kindle Ed, free.
Short stories have appeared in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Abyss & Apex and many more.
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Disclaimer: The reviews and opinions above are either from online sources or my own, and have been collaborated together for the ease and benefit of potential new readers. All ratings have been collected from the date of this blog’s publishing and will potentially change in the future.