Two Short Books

Big Bullet Monster Bomb: lost little things: a short story for mature readers
by Adam Archer (2020)

The Race
by John Russo (2021)

(Not a review, just some notes to help me remember the things I've read. But written this way because it's the Internet, and some people will stumble across this page.)

I don't remember where I found these stories. I don't think it was reddit. It could've been on Facebook or Twitter.

Nothing about the Bullet Bomb book was particularly geared toward mature readers, other than the cover showing a woman wearing rags that barely cover what they need to. It seems like a story set in a larger world that I haven't read but I have no idea of this is the case. It's post-apocalyptic and the last of the human race is slowly morphing into cratures. This much is interesting.

The main character is pulling a sled of her belongings (including guns) and looking for some place to hide so she can sleep. Her sleep cycle is screwed up so she's up for a long time and then needs a prolonged sleep.

When she encountered some creatures attacking an overturned RV, she decides to go into action. It's at this point and after that it fell apart for me. It was a bit of a mess after that. But I read it until the end. I didn't bail on it. Interesting, but not great.

The first notes I wrote after reading it were: too many parenthetical expressions. Eloise and Marhsa. Good setup, no follow through. Fell apart with the first battle.

By contrast, The Race is just a mess. It takes place in a dystopian future. Amazon makes deliveries by drone. One brother decides that they can get rich by shooting down the drones and taking the packages for themselves. The packages would be insured, so no one loses. The other brother thinks it's a stupid idea.

Brother 1 shoots down a down with a shotgun (it might've been a rifle, I forget), and the drone goes down. Brother 2 says that Brother 1 has to get the package and return it. Brother 1 says he's going to keep it.

And now the race is on over hill and dale not to mention through woods, quicksand and swamp, to get to this package. It seems like they are surprised by the terrain that is right next to their own farmland. It also seems like Brother 1 must be an incredible marksman to shoot down a drone so far away with a store-bought rifle without a laser scope. You would think that the drone would crash within a couple hundred yards from where he fired.

If that wasn't bad enough, they get to a point where they haul the huge package, a large TV, of the bayou (again, suprise -- there's a bayou!) in a boat. The boat gets flipped, depositing the brothers in the water, and sending the large box flying into the air, up the enbankments, and into the trees. The physics of it are basically "somehow".

The item finally retrieved and they head home after spending most of the day following the path a disabled drone. There's a twist at the end that is 100% the twist you would expect to see even before you knew that there would be a twist at the end because the story needed an ending.

My notes when I read it were: Johnny and Robert. Shooting packages from Amazon drones. how far away was this thing? Race from the farm into the swamp, and they came to a bayou that they seemed surprised to see. They rescue the package and it manages to magically fly up a hill and clear some trees. They spend the majority of the day looking for something that was taken down with a shotgun. And the final twist, SPOILER, telegraphed really, was that the lost package was ordered by the wife.


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