Saturday, 23 June 2012

Virus Paper

With the recent Science special issue and controversial publication of the mutations necessary to convert H5N1 "bird flu" into a virus that can be spread between mammals, it seemed like a good time to give a quick plug for Virus Paper, a collection of short stories on the Kindle by a friend under the nom de plume, "Maxwell Jonathan".

Here's the blurb:
Virus Paper: An artist, infected with a deadly virus, races against time to complete his masterpiece.

The Dislocation of Sebastian Peters: A failed writer gets a second chance at life in the body of his dead son.

Ratskin Bedsocks: A mother stops at nothing in order to keep her child alive in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse.

The Apostate: A boy raised in a satanic cult starts to question its dark faith.

In all four of these short stories from Maxwell Jonathan, ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Through love, hate, fear and hope they are pushed to the very extremities of human endurance.
This is not my usual genre (I normally go for something a little more detached from reality) but I am happy to recommend it nonetheless. Tied together by a general theme of life, death and personal identity, each story stands alone. Bleak and harrowing in places, these are not stories to be read when feeling a bit glum but they are very well written and will give you plenty to think about. For me, the latter three did not quite live up to Virus Paper, which was my favourite, but I think that if you like the opening pages, you will like the rest of the collection. (And I am sure that others will have different favourites.) It's on the kindle so why not download a free sample and see what you think? (And, whilst you're there, why not download a sample of The Cabbages of Doom too‽ ☺)

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