The Thunder Child

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Web Magazine and Sourcebooks

Vol 1, Issue #5
"Stand By For Mars!"
May 2006

Fiction Book Reviews
by Caroline Miniscule

Aliens and Satanic Creatures Wanted: Humans Need Not Apply
by Tony Ruggiero
Hard Shell Word Factory

Learn more or buy now

Caroline Miniscule has traveled around the world. She now stays in one place and reads science fiction. She is a graduate of D'Illyria University.

1) Lucky Lucifer?s Car Emporium
2) Electronic Bliss
3) Operator
4) Cat With A Past
5) Inhuman or Inhumane
6) Something?s Cooking
7) Invasion or Subversion
8) All Aboard
9) Endangered Species
10) Reap What You Sow
11) Forgiveness
12) An A-museing Tale
13) Teacher?s Pet
14) Have A Nice Flight
15) To Protect and Serve
16) Going Up?
17) Games People Play
18) Cow Song
19) Please Make Up My Mind 20) Satisfaction
Tony Ruggiero writes in a breezy, pulp-like style, in this collection of 39 stories which alternate between fantasy and science fiction (with more fantasy than science fiction, admittedly)...all of them with a soupcon of horror.

The stories are in the style of The Twilight Zone, with normal people going about their lives and then stepping into the fantastic. Unlike that classic television program, however, these have no moral to impart, there is much more blood, and there are rarely any happy endings!

The stories vary in that some of them are predictable from beginning to end. For example the first story in the collection, "Lucky Lucifer?s Car Emporium," has a protagonist named "Gabe." The name is enough to give the ending away...

21) Inoculation of a Culture
22) We Are What We Become
23) Differences
24) The Gift of Christmas
25) How Blind is Justice
26) Wild and Wonderful Earth
27) Burning Bridges
28) It?s a Garden Out There
29) Pull
30) Cerebral Recyclers
31) Normalcy Sucks
32) Just My Job
33) Antiques
34) Human Nature
35) Faith
36) The End
37) Freddy
38) Fullfilment

That's not to say that the story isn't amusing - Lucifer running a used car company - just that the ending is telegraphed.

This occurs in a few of the stories - they are good, but the endings don't really come as a surprise.

Here's a sample of Ruggiero's writing from the beginning of "Inhuman or Inhumane?"

"Mr. Keller, don't you understand that we are the perfect killing device? Vampires hunt to stay alive every night of their lives," the dark figure informed him passionately. "Imagine what would happen if we, these perfect hunters, were being controlled to do someone else's bidding." He glanced out of the restaurant window into the shadows. His facial features were hard but his eyes were almost glowing with a certain luminosity that reverbrated with a passion for living."

"And you believe the United States is enslaving vampires for its own purposes, Mr. Aramus?" Keller asked with incredulous fascination, but with a hint of skepticism.

"Yes! That is exactly what they have done," Aramus said as he drummed his long fingernails impatiently. "I have come to you and your agency because I know of nowhere else to go. The military is involved, th CIA, the FBI, and maybe even officials in top levels of the government itself."

"In order for me to understand this, I need to know some things." Keller shifted in his chair. "How about we start with, how exactly does one control a vampire."

Ruggiero's cast of characters consist of sympathetic vampires, mutations, unsysmpathetic humans, invaders of Earth, invaders of other planets, psychotic wives, dying aliens, innocent children.

Horror, sci fi and fantasy fans will enjoy these stories.

Go To The Reviews Index
Return to the Table of Contents
Go to the Site Map
Go to Volcano Seven

Recommended Reading

Learn more or
Buy Now

Learn more or
Buy Now

Learn more or
Buy Now

Learn more or
Buy Now

Learn more or
Buy Now

Learn more or
Buy Now

All text © 2006 The Thunder Child unless otherwise credited.
All illustrations retain original copyright.
Please contact us with any concerns as to correct attribution.
Any questions, comments or concerns contact The Thunder Child.