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    Stepping into the Twilight Zone

    Unreal Encounters by Milo James Fowler is a great slice of Milo’s excellent short fiction. With over 100 stories published, Fowler chose some of his most chilling tales of humans and “other” life – alien and paranormal. Because I’ve been reading Fowler’s work for several years now and following his fiction avidly, I had read many of these tales in their original publications, but there were some that I had never read before and I’m glad to have some of my old favorites to read again and again. Fowler’s fiction is good enough to re-read because he always includes unexpected plot twists, characters with depth, and endings that leave some food for thought. My favorite story in this collection is “Shadow of Death” – an interesting extra-Biblical re-telling of David and Goliath from King Saul’s tormented perspective. My second favorite is “The Cost of Freedom” which re-imagines JFK’s assassination as part of an alien plot to take over Earth. But Fowler doesn’t just imagine world events, he creates new characters and unexpected encounters like in his story “To Know a Lie from a Hacksaw” – a grim, but humorous story; and “Starlight” – another one of my favorite stories which involving a bullied, young teen with a strange new power. With 40 short stories of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, Fowler offers up some of his best short fiction in this collection. Readers of speculative fiction who don’t mind a little grim bite to their reading will enjoy this book.
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