Hello my reading friends and happy New Year’s Eve! While this week would usually be a musing of mine, I thought it would be nice to post one final book review for the season. A final treat for readers. This time it’s for a book not out yet so it’s more an anticipation. Let’s dive in.
Back in October, I read and reviewed “At the Edges” by S.A. Asthana. A collection of short stories that lived in the edges of horror and sci-fi that amused, disturbed and scared me all at once. I think I called it Tapas for the mind.
January 3rd, Asthana comes out with “Beyond the Edges”, a new anthology of sci- fi and horror stories, a fresh plate of literary tapas to delight the senses. I was offered the opportunity to read it, and since I loved his first collection so much, I took him up on that offer. This new series of short stories is so good, I just pre-ordered it from Amazon Kindle.
Beyond the Edges houses a collection of eight stories, each different from the other and still creepy in their own way. Asthana is a master of taking a seemingly innocuous thought and twisting it enough to be disturbing or uncomfortable or even as simple as the oh-hell-I-didn’t-see-that-coming.
Reading the synopsis, I was immediately excited to read the story based in the future and the latest COVID strain (because I am cynical and morbid humor sometimes amuses me). I was not disappointed and wholly unnerved, which was great!
I don’t want to give spoilers because honestly, these stories deserved to be read unspoiled. That said, as much as I liked Covid Forty, my favorite stories from this collection might be The Portal of Theorem, when scientists are so preoccupied with whether or not they could do a thing, they didn’t stop to think if they should (credits to Dr. Ian Malcolm for this line), and Ghosts, where sometimes the scariest thing in the room is you. Both of these stories have that delicious twist, that “when you see it, you’ll freak” moment in them that set them apart. I’m not even touching on Simon. The what if WOPR and Edgar had a child and that child was pulled into the future (if you know, you know).
Like tapas, these stories are short but have enough flavor to tantalize the literary taste buds. I read this all in one sitting, telling myself I’d stop after the end of the current story until finally I just ran out of stories.
If you read At the Edges, please pre-order Beyond the Edges. With 2022 promising to be just as lovely and accommodating as it’s last two predecessors, we all need a little nihilistic entertainment in our lives.
And that’s the end of our year friends! I hope it was an interesting one full of good books. With 2022 on the horizon, let’s find what we’re reading for the new year.
As the clock counts down, make sure you’re ringing in the New Year with a comfy blanket, a good drink and an even better book.