Tag Archives: Rayguns Over Texas anthology

Best Energies by Josh Rountree

It’s my last story to read from Rayguns Over Texas. I’ll need to find a new book of short stories to review, now that I’ve finished this one!

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas.

Genre: alternate history

Setting: the U.S. at the end of WWII

Summary: George Washington discovered a pool of water that bestows immortality and has ruled the United States as monarch ever since. Of course, the U.S. is only the Eastern states, and there are several other sovereign nations on the North American continent, including the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston, who also partook of the pool’s water, is currently President of Texas, and once again trying to convince Washington to allow equal access to the Immortality Pool. Washington seems to have unlimited power, especially now that Einstein has turned alchemist and figured out how to modify the pool’s water for multiple uses. Texas has an ace in the hole, though, since they’ve convinced Einstein to turn traitor and develop a bomb to release the magic trapped in the Immortality Pool. Turns out, Einstein has other plans and the bomb won’t do exactly what the Texans expect.

Final thoughts: This was a strong story to finish on. I found the alternate history based around Washington’s immortality quite interesting. In Rountree’s vision, Washington continues to rule the U.S. What kind of problems would develop when your ruler is immortal and controls the source of immortality? It’s tolerable as long as the pool only provides immortality, but once Einstein figures out how to create magical fission bombs, and turning back time, and magical shock troops, the world has some serious problems. Houston recognizes those problems very quickly, and acts on them (hopefully before Washington has time to stop him). I loved the set-up to the story, but the ended seemed a bit soft. The story just kind of stops, with no real resolution to the conflict.

Title comes from: It probably refers to the energy being harnessed by Einstein in the Immortality Pool.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

The Chambered Eye by Jessica Reisman

I’m a little late to get this review in on Monday morning, but I read the story and it’s still worth reviewing.

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas.

Genre: fantasy

Setting: a post-apocalyptic water world with some future tech

Summary: Sebira is one of a quartet of reader-tellers, all with the same gene-set. They work for the Gamboges Vivant circus. It’s another day and another town, but Sebira suddenly starts seeing visions on top of her usual flashes of insight. She’s afraid it means her gene-set is bad and the whole quartet will be eliminated. Turns out, she’s just evolving and another of her quartet had the same thing happen to him.

Final thoughts: The beginning was a bit dense with info-dumps, but by the end, I was interested in what was happening to Sebira. She’s been genetically enhanced in order to become a gypsy fortune teller, and turns out, she really can see the future. It was an interesting world, but people are still people, and I’ve been to the carnival and seen the crowds described in the story. I might have liked a bit more about learning to read the symbols she started to see, but it ended on a satisfying enough note. Not sure how this story ties into Texas, as the collection is supposed to do, but I still liked it.

Title comes from: Perhaps it refers to the all-seeing eye, or the third eye that lets you see beyond the normal senses. Sebira’s just opened up more fully to see into the future.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Take a Left at the Cretaceous by Mark Finn

Continuing my Monday short fiction reviews, it’s time for another story from Rayguns Over Texas

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas.

Genre: speculative fiction

Setting: the Texas-Mexico border, near future Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Pet Rock by Sanford Allen

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas

Genre: science fiction

Setting: the spaceship Carpathia, far future

Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Timeout by Neal Barrett, Jr.

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas

Genre: science fiction

Setting: an unnamed location on Earth, present day

Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Sovereign Wealth by Chris N. Brown

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Galveston, Texas, near future

Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Defenders of Beeman County by Aaron Allston

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Beeman County, Texas, present day

Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it.

Summary: A federal agent comes into the Beeman County Sheriff’s Department to commandeer some help in investigating some anomalous energy pulses nearby. The sheriff takes exception to the Feds’ tone, leading him out into the desert and killing him. Turns out, the Fed is actually an alien in a human skin, and it looks like the aliens were about to take over Beeman County. Luckily, the Sheriff, his deputy, and his daughter all come heavily armed and are crack shots. They kill the aliens, knock down their ship, and post it all to the internet before the real Feds can get involved.

Final thoughts: An interesting, action-packed story, but the more I think about it, the more annoyed I get with it. For one thing, what’s the likelihood a local sheriff would lead a federal agent into the desert and then just shoot him in the head for being disrespectful? It sounds like the sheriff has done this many times in the past and there’s no indication that his area is under investigation. I buy that everyone has lots of guns and can use them in Texas (total stereotype, I know), but the tone was aggressively macho and pro-gun. I did enjoy when the Sheriff had to fight his alien clone, and then the Deputy questioned who won by trying to pull his face off. The introduction to the story made it sound like a Twilight Zone episode, which I can totally buy.

Title comes from: The location was Beeman County and the Sheriff and his deputy were defending it from anyone trying to horn in on his little empire.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review