Recently I bought and read a collection of short stories entitled CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE URBAN KIND, edited by Jennifer Brozek. To be honest, I struggle to write reviews, and in this particular case, the effort may seem more of a tale of how I came to acquire and read the reviewed book. If I were a bit more objective, perhaps I could do as jpsorrow does in reviewing anthologies and offer a comment or two on each story. At the same time, I don't want to single out any (by name) as my favorites or my least favorites. Thus I offer comments of a general nature about the stories as a whole.
Close Encounters of the Urban Kind
Edited by Jennifer Brozek
Reviewed by D. Andrew McChesney
I was aware of this anthology before its release. Two of the contributors are on my Live Journal friends list and both posted several times about this collection. I did not pre-order nor buy when it was first released, but later, Joshua Palmatier, one of those contributing writers, offered copies for sale via his Live Journal page. After an exchange of e-mails I sent him a check covering the cost of the book and shipping. It arrived a few days later with his autograph on the first page of his story. I set it aside, awaiting completion of the book I was currently reading.
This collection of twenty short stories offers unworldly, alien explanations for many of the myths that we are familiar with today, while some deal with legends that many of us are not aware of. A few of the entries are down right scary, while others might better be described as weird. Two or three, the ones I seem to remember went beyond frightening sensationalism and offered moments of compassion, help, and an altered sense of our place in the universe.
All the stories are well written and I did not have any problem with turning page after page. The only difficulty I encountered was with the dialogue in one story. I found difficult to connect the speaker with words spoken. Nevertheless, it is on my bookshelf and is a volume I foresee myself reading again someday.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE URBAN KIND, ISBN 978-0-9821596-9-9 was published by Apex Publications.