Bubble Off Plumb

Fiction - Anthology
340 Pages
Reviewed on 02/06/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When Feral Cat Publishers started, we pitched an idea for a genre-neutral anthology of offbeat stories, titled 'Bubble Off Plumb' to one of our editors. She initially wasn't keen on the theme because it ran counter to current publishing dogma which serves strictly-defined customer marketing segments and, more importantly, she had no idea what the phrase meant. We later found she wasn't alone there, but stuck with it regardless. Given the trouble finding bridging metaphors to explain BoP, it was probably a good thing we didn't start with our first notion which was 'Red-Shift Stories', a similar concept but even less accessible. Author responses were excellent, however, and here we are.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Bubble Off Plumb is an anthology collection of short stories edited by KG Finfrock, Sarah Kalin and Dan M. Kalin, and contributed to by a whole collection of other authors – Marie Brennan, David Tallerman and E.E. King, to name but a few. The tales center around a speculative and science fiction theme, and as the title suggests, they toy with seemingly ordinary ideas to make them just a little off kilter. Designed as a coffee table reader which showcases each author’s work, the 26 tales range wildly in theme, from historical strangeness to alien invasion, time travel and dimensional movement in outer space. All that they share is a sense of oddity and unreality.

As is always the way with a mixed collection of stories, there were some that I absolutely loved and others which didn’t connect for me. The writing quality, however, was excellent throughout, and each author certainly has a distinctive voice which makes each reading experience brand new. Marie Brennan started strong with a horror-esque, creepy tale in Serpent, Wolf and Half-Dead Thing, which I enjoyed immensely for its vivid description and nasty twists. Some others which I really enjoyed were the Steampunk-styled The Octopus of Bangkok by Robert Millet, and the authentic narrative voice in Why The Louisiana Swamp Cat He Go To Texas, by Sarah M. Lewis, totally threw me into deep southern Americana as the strange tale unfolded. Overall, editors KG Finfrock, Sarah Kalin and Dan M. Kalin have produced an eclectic and enjoyable mix in Bubble Off Plumb.

Ankita Shukla

Bubble Off Plumb by Dan M. Kalin consists of the most intriguing and fascinating short stories. There are stories that take you on the most unexpected journey in the shortest possible time. There is no ordinary tale anywhere in the book. Whether it's the story of a couple who moves to the countryside from the city, or a house with a flat, each story starts with the simplest idea, but slowly transforms into the most surprising story you'll ever read. Each story has a unique flavour to it that is sure to leave a mark on a reader's mind for a long time.

My most favorite story is about two sisters hiring a teenager to take care of their big mansion; however, that teenager is not allowed to go to the third floor of the building. The sisters tell him that there is nothing on that floor, but very often screams can be heard from that floor. The boy got very curious, but the girls did not tell him anything believable. The funny part is, when they actually tell him the truth, he finds it even more bizarre. Each story is so full of twists and surprising turns that one can never guess the climax.

The author has done an incredible job of selecting only the best and most thrilling short stories and that selection deserves much praise. I would recommend Bubble Off Plumb by Dan M. Kalin to readers who would enjoy reading a collection of the most unexpected and intriguing short stories.

Patricia Reding

Sometimes a person has a matter of minutes for reading and wants to be able to experience a full story in that time. Such can be done with the stories set out in Bubble Off Plumb, edited by KG Finfrock, Sarah Kalin, and Dan M. Kalin. This book offers a variety of short stories from a number of authors. As the editors tell it, the idea was to publish a number of non genre specific stories that shared a single thing in common. That thing, quite simply, is that each story is somehow “off-beat.” The result is a publication of over 20 stories, all of which are sure to have satisfied the editors as each is unusual, and all of which are likely to satisfy readers for that same reason.

In Bubble Off Plumb, I went on a variety of short adventures. As a consequence of Buzz Dixon’s story entitled, “Barn Raising,” I may never think the same of the friendly Amish tradition of helping another party raise a barn. I might even suspect something a bit more sinister. Likewise, KG Finfrock’s “Good Thoughts” made me consider how retribution might look if it was the sole purpose for imprisoning those who’d engaged in criminal behavior. Then with “The Way it Was” with Jonah, Arthur Weil gave me interesting insight into what it would be like to befriend someone who is accident prone—when the accidents happen to those around that person. These are just a few of the many stories in this anthology. Grab a copy to download and engage yourself the next time you have to sit in a waiting room or stand in a line. The minutes are likely to fly by as you enjoy some good storytelling, while your outlook on some rather ordinary things in life might never be the same thereafter.