“I have no objection to truth,” I said, “but I enjoy untruths too, they’re the building blocks of human culture. Actors pretending to be kings, singers faking heartbreak or elation, novelists inventing heroes in their heads to escape the mindless dullards around them. Reality is a vast sea of tedium interrupted by brief flashes of the repugnant – why would anyone chain themselves to that?”
A spin doctor forced to deal with aliens who loath lies.
A squad of soldiers torn apart by the fiction in their midst.
A hunting submarine with its dead captain strapped to the prow, the crew promising that one day they’ll revive him.
We all tell lies to get through the day, some of them to ourselves, some to other people. Now read the extraordinary lies of the future in these nine short science fiction stories.
Andrew Knighton is fast becoming my ‘go to’ guy for short-stories. I thoroughly enjoyed his collection of Steampunk shorts, Riding the Mainspring and now he’s back with more, this time from a genre with which I’m more familiar, science fiction.
This collection of tales is loosely tied together by the theme of lies and self-delusion, whether they are lies of political expedience or the type of lie to keep you going when you know admitting the truth means losing all hope. Each tale is wonderfully crafted, and Knighton has the knack of being able to develop characters and scenes of depths with just a few words.
The real strength of this collection is not necessarily the stories themselves, although each stands up well on their own, but the sheer breadth of imagination on display. As with Riding the Mainspring, Knighton is bursting with ideas, whether it is a crop types on a distant planet or genetically modified marine predators gone wrong.
If you are looking for well crafted science fiction shorts that are both playful but also contain hidden depth, I would highly recommend this collection.
To buy Lies We Tell Ourselves from Amazon.co.uk click here
To buy Lies We Tell Ourselves from Amazon.com click here
Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.