Title: Time Crawlers
Author: Varun Sayal
Genre: Sci-fi Short stories
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics, and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in this book which has six tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.
1. Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon
The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.
2. Death by Crowd
The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?
He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.
4. Time Crawlers
There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….
No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?
6. The Cave
The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.
Thank you to the author Varun Sayal for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
As the synopsis depicts this is a collection of six sci-fi themed short stories. I generally am not a fan of short stories and short story collections. This is because I am a very character driven person and don’t feel short stories give me enough time to get to know and connect with the characters. This collection was no exception. Just as I started to learn the character names and get a feel for what their personality might be like BAM the story ended and it was time to move onto the next one!
Another thing that bothered me about this collection was the writing style itself. I tried not to think too critically about the writing style as I understand this is a debut collection and self-published, so may not have gone through as big of an editing process. With this being said however there were a number of grammatical errors/ misused words and or extra/ missing words. I also found it hard to determine what age group the author was writing these stories for. I actually personally felt that the writing style changed from story to story some seemed to be written in a middle grade type of way with basic description and wording where as others seemed to be adult fiction with more description, but more thinking required from the reader. For the most part though I felt the writing got better with each story.
As for the stories themselves they were a bit hit and miss for me. Some I found a little boring, confusing and not completely thought through. While others, especially the last few, I found the underling ideas, themes and concepts to be very interesting and unique. I liked how many of the stories had an underling theme of morals and the way they were written made me not only question the morals and actions of the characters but ask myself what I would do in these situations and what my own morals are like. A few of the stories also had some very effective plot twists that I did not always see coming and think could be used to an even bigger effect had the story been a full length novel.
In conclusion I enjoyed the premises of most of the stories and the underlying theme of humanity and morals. Many of the ideas, concepts and technologies had great potential and were unique. However, the inconsistency of the writing style throughout all the stories mixed with my dislike of short stories in general made this collection somewhat hard to read. Therefore, I have given this short story collection 2.5/5 stars. Do you enjoy short stories? Or do you have similar issues with them like me? What are some of your favourite short story collections and or sci-fi reads? Until next time happy watching and reading!