Written by: Paula Limbaugh
Shake Me to Wake Me is a dark thought provoking collection of short stories, written by the author of the Orcs: First Blood series Stan Nicholls; these stories really step outside the box. All of the stories were picked by Stan as a representation of some of his best, covering a span of 20 years. In 2007 he received Le’Fantastique Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Literature.
You remember as a child how you had that one toy be it a doll, a teddy bear or some other companion that you always carried with you; well that’s what “Softies” is about. Here you are given a companion at birth only these companions stay with you through life. But what happens when the companions begin to feel put upon, tired of always being there for you and never getting any thanks? The answer lies within this story.
“Polly Put the Mockers On” is quirky tale. Imagine a disgruntled man walking into a bank to make a withdrawal only instead of writing a paper check he decides to write a check on the side of a living pig as a way of protest. The bank being obliged to accept the check does not realize this was to be the end of money as we know it. Now everyone is spending with animals, mice, birds, deer, you name it. Lonnie Fairfax is a wealthy man, a man who likes obtaining the unobtainable. He hires P.I. Eddie Markham to find that one elusive coin, er, bird for his collection and thus the misadventure begins.
The final story is “The Gripes of Wrath.” This is the only story in the collection written specifically for this book. Ivor Drummond has been a successful author for years but lately the critics haven’t been too kind. After reading a brutal review of his latest novel by Philip Bradshaw, Eddie decides to write a rebuttal, angrily denouncing the reviewer. Shortly after his rebuttal is printed the reviewer has a bit of an accident, losing a hand to a guillotine on display. Hmmm, didn’t Eddie write ‘the bit about wishing for something that stilled Bradshaw’s hand’ in his review? Weird, huh?
These stories are a great way to spend a quiet day home alone, because once you start reading it’s hard to put down the book. Enjoy, I did! Available from Amazon and Newcon Press.