Intelligent life on other planets: it’s the brass ring of space exploration. Do extra-terrestrial species exist? Will we ever make contact? Perhaps, have we made contact already?
In the latest addition to the Future Chronicles series of sci-fi anthologies, the answer to all of these question is a resounding yes. From first contact to last stand, these original short stories range from quiet tales of personal connection to adrenaline-infused inter-species space conflicts. Each tale promises to present you with a different look at what intelligent alien life might be like — and how we Earthlings might respond to it.
The Alien Chronicles features stories by bestselling authors Hugh Howey (WOOL), B. V. Larson (the Starforce series), and Jennifer Foehner Wells (Fluency), plus twelve more of today’s top authors in science fiction.
Review 4 of 5 Stars
Once again I got sucked into a book of short stories, of which many were just what I was looking for. As I’ve done previously, I’m just going to highlight the stories I enjoyed the most, aside from Second Suicide by Hugh Howey. I previously reviewed Second Suicide separately while I was on my Hugh Howey kick and see no reason to repeat what I’ve already said.
Guests of the Chitterer Liberation Force by Blair S. Babylon
This story was well told. I did see the end coming before the reveal, but definitely not at the beginning where it would have made the story less enjoyable. This was a great story to start out this anthology and I enjoyed it. The narrator introduces us to Blake right out of the gate and what a story Blake has to tell. Blake was a “guest” of a rebel force of aliens and our narrator is obviously entranced by her story. I’ll leave you to figure out why, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am interested in reading more by this author.
The Kholorian Conspiracy by Geoffrey Wakeling
There were elements of mystery and suspense in addition to the story’s main characters being aliens. All around this was a fun read. The main character, Seralah, is part of an archaeological dig where an ancient artifact is stolen. Seralah. The author did a great job of making the reader feel at home in this alien culture and I really enjoyed it. Seralah ends up in precarious circumstances as she investigates the theft. I believe The Kholorian Conspiracy was five chapters, which is one of the longer stories in the anthology. The story well written and the characters are engaging. I very much enjoyed my time spent in this universe. The author states in the afterword that The Kholorian Conspiracy loosely ties into his CRYO series, which I am interested in checking out when I have some free time.
318 by Autumn Kalquist
This story is an exploration of some of humankind’s less flattering characteristics. It is a story about destroying and using what you don’t understand and rationalizing that behavior. It is also about the desire of the human spirit to be free; uncontrolled by others who may think what they are doing makes them above the law so to speak. I was drawn into this story right away. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Hanging with Humans by Patrick Fitzgerald
This was really a fun story and I enjoyed it. Glendorp Freundzap is an alien who wins a trip to Earth in disguise as part of a game show. In some ways this was a silly story, but that was part of its charm. I think to explain too much about it would take away the fun of reading the story so I’m going to have to stop here. In my opinion this is one of the better stories in the book.
Alien Space Tentacle Porn by Peter Cawdron
I found this story to be quite humorous. Imagine if you were to find that your neighbors were aliens on an intergalactic mission. What would you be able to tell people about them? Would anyone believe you? What would you say? What would you do to help your alien friend? These questions and more are explored by the author in this entertaining tale.
Second Suicide by Hugh Howey (see previous review)
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I read and reviewed Second Suicide previously. It is the last story in this anthology and a great way to finish off this collection of stories. Please see the review from February 2015 if you would like a more in-depth review of this story.
Once again, a good anthology with David Gatewood as the editor. I’ve enjoyed the future chronicles series of anthologies and have found some excellent new authors to keep an eye out for along the way. I have only highlighted a few of the stories in this anthology as I’m always afraid of explaining too much when it comes to shorter fiction, but I enjoyed the book greatly. Short stories are one of my favorite pastimes and I hope you take the time to enjoy these stories as much as I did.