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Astronauts and Heretics
Thomas Marcinko
Amazon Digital Services, 65 pages

Astronauts and Heretics
Thomas Marcinko
Thomas Marcinko's fiction has appeared in Interzone, SF Age, The Edge, and on Ellen Datlow's late lamented site. He lives in Arizona.

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A review by David Maddox

Seven stories set in seven different worlds very similar to our own, but very different as well. This is what writer Thomas Marcinko creates with his short story collection Astronauts and Heretics, a compelling read that ventures through the super-hero genre, alien/human intermingling, the second coming of Jesus, and even a well-known sitcom retold as a fan-boy extravaganza.

The stories themselves just barely miss the ultra-short style of story telling in their length, but Marcinko does an amazing job of creating his worlds quickly and throwing the reader right into the middle of them. "Faith in a Higher Power" takes off from a world where super-heroes used to be commonplace, but the government cracked down on them with registration. "A Close Personal Relationship" shows us a world where Jesus (under the name Junior) came back but sided with the corporate machine because people just weren't listening to his message. And "Deep Space Sein..." well, imagine an episode of Seinfeld if it were set on Star Trek's Deep Space Nine. It must be read to be believed.

Not too much more can be said without spoiling some of the surprises, but suffice to say, each story is unusual and compelling. In fact, as some of the stories have a bit of an unresolved feel at the end, one might almost wish that Marcinko uses these tales as a jumping off point to create full novels set in these world's he has created.

Copyright © 2012 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been Star Trek characters, the Riddler in a Batman stunt show and holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University. He has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories while acting on stage, screen and television. He can sometimes be seen giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood and playing Norman Bates.

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