Description from Publisher:
Love science fiction stories that all include elements of Love, Murder & Mayhem?
Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superheros and supervillains, AIs, off-worlders, and space cruisers. We’ve also got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travelers, aliens and monsters—and one DuckBob!
With tales ranging from wild and wacky to dark and gritty to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ Colchamiro.
You’ll never look at Love, Murder & Mayhem the same way again—and that’s just the way we like it.
For the sake of clarification, this is a crossover anthology that combines science fiction and mystery. Although there are romantic relationships, readers looking for conventional Romance genre elements will be disappointed. Love can be found in these stories, but HEA is optional. Expect the unexpected.
I received a free copy of Love, Murder and Mayhem edited by Russ Colchamiro in return for this review. I recognized a few author names such as Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and Robert Greenberger from the covers of professional Star Trek novels, but their stories are very different from Star Trek. This is an original anthology. None of the stories have appeared anywhere before.
I usually like only a few stories in any given anthology. I want to assure readers that in the case of this anthology, it's a matter of taste. It's not due to any deficiencies in the quality of the writing. Some stories were too dark for me. There were some protagonists that didn't interest me. Other stories were obviously intended to be humorous, but didn't hit my funny bone. There will undoubtedly be readers with different preferences.
My personal favorite of these stories was "The Note on the Blue Screen" by Mary Fan. This is a highly unusual Sherlock Holmes story. I need to mention that I have never been a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, but contemporary twists on the Sherlock Holmes character can engage my attention. Mary Fan gives us an AI (Artificial Intelligence) named Sherlock who is a detective with a loyal female Watson who repairs the AI when it can't repair itself. I thought the st0ry was clever and original. I also loved the relationship between this Sherlock and Watson. I am an instant fan of Mary Fan, who I've never read before. I will definitely want to read more of her work. She also co-edits the Brave New Girls anthologies which are YA science fiction stories that are intended to encourage girls' interest in scientific fields.
I also liked "The Reboot of Jennis Viatorem" by Karissa Laurel. The spaceship captain protagonist is also a mother and she wants to heal her relationship with her adult son who has been accused of murdering his wife. The plot and characterization are both complex and moving. In addition, I'd like to mention "Speedeth All" by Meriah L. Crawford for its strong but disturbing portrayal of a war on an alien planet where humans are dying for mineral wealth. That's certainly a theme that could speak to contemporary readers.
The stories that I featured in this review made this anthology worth reading, and the discovery of author Mary Fan made it notable.