Title: Newgrounds Writing Anthology
Genre: Everything by Everyone
Publication Date: Aug 2012
Once again I am faced with the challenge of writing a review of a book that is not one story, but many, and this time there are a lot of them. Therefore I will try and say a little bit about each one!
(I would like to apologize in advance to the poetry authors. I know next to nothing about poetry and how to create it. I therefore am completely incapable of providing an adequate review. I would like to say that I enjoyed them however!)
The first story, , by WritersBlock, dives into the a sea of questions, where the line between the reader and characters begins to blur. I'm sorry, it's really hard to talk about this story without giving anything away. The ending is great though!
Story number two, , by KrisSalus, is probably my favorite one in the book. Admittedly I am a sucker for good military science-fiction, especially when its about fighter pilots. All in all, this story features an excellently built and appropriately bleak vision of the future. Four pilots from a floating city seek to escape never ending war and reach land. The attention given to the mechanics of aerial combat is great and the characters really draw the reader in. I was really nervous as the story came to a close.
Next is by eoincamoore. While this story is a bit dreary, I found that the protagonist to be the easiest to empathize with. Recovering in a hospital after suffering a grievous wound to his hand with a comatose man as a roommate, this story is full of amusing commentary on friends and our connections to them. I love the discussion of Westerns, violent video games, and facebook etiquette.
by AndyOpus is easily the funniest story in the book. A man applies for a spot to heaven but is rejected as there are no vacancies, so he turns to other other sources for acceptance. This story has a very unique structure, and although it is quite short, is immensely enjoyable.
, by RIGg0rMORtis, is another very short story, but is not lighthearted at all. A man struggles to retain consciousness as he is beaten. It's all over so quick that there is very little time to make sense of the characters or the reasons why the man is being beaten. The perspective is interesting however, and the description of the victim's thought processes intriguing.
Crabcruncher81 is up next with is probably the creepiest story in the anthology. A man admits a strange insurance salesmen into his home against his better judgement, and it soon becomes clear that this man is peddling much more then insurance. The tension builds very nicely in this story and the dialogue between the salesmen and the protagonist keeps the reader guessing.
Next, TheThing brings us , a story of a woman on a quest to fulfill her late husband's last request. This story was probably the most melancholy of the bunch. Every triumph is matched with an accompanying sadness.
Without a doubt the strangest and hardest to follow tale, by AdamCook, recounts the story of three friends and their brush with a group of religious fanatics. I liked the reckless nature of the main characters and the breathless pace the story takes. It is a very irreverent twist on the science fiction genre.
In addition to editing the Anthology as a whole, Ekublai wrote the short story . Virginia Stone takes a temporary job as an assistant for a rather eccentric dentist, Dr. Cherri. When a child with perfect teeth becomes their newest patient, Virginia begins to notice a series of disconcerting events and suspects that Dr. Cherri might be hiding something. I had to read this story twice, as the second time through events which seemed to have little significance take on new meaning. I also really enjoyed the characters of Monday Constance and Dr. Cherri. As the story winds towards its conclusion, everything becomes clear and the final reveal is great.
Sentio's is a story that I enjoyed much more then I thought I would have if you had told me what it was about beforehand. Because of that, I won't tell you anything about the plot, but I will tell you that the writing style here is very entertaining and often very darkly funny.
In , by godhammer, we see three dysfunctional people go about their lives in a very dysfunctional way. I found this story to be a little hard to follow at times especially since it is at times intentionally vague. You don't know whats going to happen next and the story defies expectations. The dialogue is witty and the characters are delightfully daft.
My favorite character in , by Enamour, is without a doubt the jackal with all his teeth. My favorite line is "It's not THAT type of coat club. This story is quite funny at times, and I enjoy the interaction between characters. There is a strong moral message, which the author conveys throughout the story. It's a very enjoyable piece.
Imagery plays a very strong role in , by Ice-Crane, a short piece about sinking in the ocean. While there isn't a plot to this story per se, the descriptions convey enough emotion to more then make up for it. This story will make you feel very powerless.
Lastly we have by Letovox. This story is about a young man named Reese who decides to take a job as a housekeeper for an elderly inventor. While there he discovers that the doctor has created two incredibly life like androids, a secret which Reese promises to keep. However, when a photograph of one of the androids appears in the paper, what will happen to the doctor's invention? This story features very well written characters and an intriguing plot. I was confused at what time period this story was supposed to take place. At first I was sure it was set in the 19th century, but now I'm not so sure. In any case, it is a rather sad story, but still a very interesting one.
I was very impressed to read all these great stories from Newground's members and hope that this book shows the world what Newgrounders are capable of!