Uncategorized: A. Andrew Tantia book reviews humor Not With a Bang science fiction short story
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Funny and witty, Not With a Bang by A. Andrew Tantia was a very enjoyable short story. Although it seemed wordy and even a bit pretentious at times, I think this ended up as part of the charm of the story and plays into the tongue-in-cheek humor found throughout.
The story begins with two men in the last piece of Earth, a small garden. The two meditate on the implications of being the last men on Earth and the fact they are men. Some additional information comes to light and some even more unusual changes in circumstances. I can’t provide any more details without ruining the story.
Cover Art: 3 Stars
Personally, I’m not a big fan of the cover, but I recognize it is trying to ape the old 1960’s science fiction style. I would suggest an update, as it seems that science fiction readers expect more from a cover but those that would really enjoy this book might appreciate the idea underlying the retro design.
Characters: 4 Stars
I have found with short stories it is often hard to fully develop the characters, but this story came very close to achieving that. Although I didn’t have a true deep emotional connection, it seemed like that wasn’t the author’s intent. Instead, what was provided was a better understanding of the characters. My only real beef was the lack of a last name for the character named Robin. This actually wouldn’t have been that noticeable if the author hadn’t introduced one character with his last name and in the next sentence introduced the second character. Really, it wasn’t a major issue but just seemed out of place.
Plot: 4 Stars
The plot was really an interesting take on the end of all life on Earth. There was a part of me that wished there had been more to the story, but, in the end, I’m not so certain there was much more that could be written for this kind of story. Throughout the story there was a great tongue-in-cheek wit that made the bleak setting much more humorous that it ought to be. What I feared most about this story was the possibility of it being a pompous piece pontificating on end of life, but instead I received an enjoyable and real story arc, albeit short.
Writing: 5 Stars
This was a thoughtful and well-written work. When I started the story, it felt like it might have been slightly wordy and even a bit pompous, but I came to realize the style enhanced the great humor of the story. Sometimes stylized writing like this is needed to help enhance the plot, which it most certainly did in this case. Most of all, I was amazed with the lack of errors. This, of course, could be attributed to being such a short story.
Overall: 4 Stars
There were some really fantastic elements to this story that made it a fun read. The characters had a nice chemistry with one another, and the overall writing was phenomenal. I wished for a slightly deeper connection with the characters, although I realize there were limits with the writing style that wouldn’t allow for this. I just felt slightly disconnected from their plight. Despite this, the story was more than worth the read, and I look forward to longer books by this author.
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