Short Stories by Melanie Rees

Art by Melissa Mead

Seven Sins

Published: July 2012 in Daily Science Fiction (you can read it free online at the link)

Genre: fairy tale mashup

Length: 4 pages

Setting: a psychiatrist’s office in Fairyland

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: An overwhelmed psychiatrist is trying to help Mr. and Mrs. Charming deal with a marital spat involving the parentage of their daughter and who does the most work around the castle.

Final thoughts: The story is built around the premise of “what problems would a psychiatrist have to deal with if his clients were member of fairy tales?” It’s a fun little romp, and the author has obviously decided that there isn’t a happily ever after for the prince and princess. In fact, from the psychiatrist’s behavior throughout the story, there isn’t a happily ever after for most people in fairyland.

Title comes from: Mr. Charming implies that their daughter’s father is actually one of the seven dwarves, so Mrs. Charming sinned with at least one of the seven.

Virtually Human

Published: September 2012 in Daily Science Fiction

Genre: science fiction

Length: 10 pages

Setting: some time in the future on Earth

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Miranda is using her virtual book too much, at least according to her mother. We find out that even her mother is a virtual book construction when the battery dies and she has to go into the real world to turn on the generator. Her mother is a drunk and only concerned that Miranda get her a new bottle.

Final thoughts: This story showed how strongly Miranda wanted her mother to be involved in her life since she created a caring mother who “forced” her to do chores and make good choices in life. Of course, it was all fake and she entered the real world only when her battery died. I liked the subtle color cues that her battery was dying (everything starts out amber and then shades to red).

Title comes from: All the people Miranda was interacting with on a regular basis were virtual creations from her virtual book.

 

 

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