Chambers of the Heart

Speculative Stories

Fiction - Fantasy - General
256 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2022
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Author Biography

B. Morris Allen is a biochemist turned activist turned lawyer turned foreign aid consultant, and frequently wonders whether it's time for a new career. He's been traveling since birth, and has lived on five of seven continents. When he can, he makes his home on the Oregon coast. In between journeys, he edits Metaphorosis magazine, and works on his own speculative stories of love and disaster. His collection Chambers of the Heart came out in 2022 and has been lauded by Kirkus and other reviewers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Chambers of the Heart is a collection of short fiction in the science fiction and anthology subgenres. The stories included in the collection are suitable for the general reading audience and were each penned by author B. Morris Allen. The book contains a diverse selection of stories that span across different themes and ideas with a variety of self-contained narratives around subjects such as arranged marriages, what life could look like post-Earth, simulated companionship, and the bravery of finding hope in dire times.

This collection is charming in both its ideas and its eclectic nature, as even with the focus on speculative fiction the diversity of themes and styles within the collection is very impressive. B. Morris Allen’s incredible imagination is matched only by his gift for prose which masterfully brings each story’s world to life before seamlessly moving along to the next one. It’s a genuine challenge to pick a favorite story from the collection as there was never any dip in quality from one story to another. However, if pushed, I would highlight Memory and Faded Ink as a great example of Chambers of the Heart’s formula of introducing an interesting idea, then exploring it in with an engaging and intriguing tale that doesn’t waste an ounce of the potential the concept has. Overall, Chambers of the Heart is an exemplary collection of speculative fiction that quickly moves from one idea to the next, stopping only to fully consider the ideas each story puts on the table. I'd highly recommend it to fans of thought-provoking speculative fiction.

Diana Lopez

Chambers of the Heart is a collection of original short stories. These stories have a deep metaphorical sense that encompasses different moments of life. B. Morris Allen brings together several fundamental factors of self, primarily in depictions of the physical body and mind, to show a renewed concept. The themes are thought-provoking. There are stories that speak of affection, of accepting oneself, of conflicts one has to face when one has a goal, and more. The characters are as varied as the settings; each story is a unique world, with its own rules and peculiarities, where everything is possible. Chambers of the Heart has conflicts, supernatural beings, dragons, magic, and inspiration. Everything one can dream of.

I loved how B. Morris Allen transforms his life experiences into such different and deep stories. I really admire his honesty, because at the end of each story he adds little notes that explain a lot about how to interpret the story and what he was thinking at the time of writing. He draws inspiration from poetry, music, and life situations, and he gives credit to all of them. He even talks about experiences from his childhood. Chambers of the Heart is literally the heart of the author captured on every page. The narration is excellent and each story feels different; you don't know what is going to happen as you are reading. I was surprised by the variety in his characters. It doesn't matter if the story is long or short; it will always have a lesson.

Asher Syed

Chambers of the Heart: Speculative Stories by B. Morris Allen is a compilation of the author's original writing with an underlying fantasy and science fiction theme, and each with its connection to the subject, which is often beautifully nuanced. The work ranges in length, tone, and tenor, such as the story called Fetch, inspired by the tragic story of the Russian space dog named Laika, to a piece of flash fiction called Full of Stars, which shares the tale of a young girl named Oni with a power of the heart that can illuminate the night sky. The stories can be read independently of one another and all are unique and imaginative.

I adore short stories and enjoy them even more when I feel like there is common ground, which Chambers of the Heart by B. Morris Allen delivers. The variety makes the book perfect for fiction lovers and while I would lean more into epic sci-fi with longer books, I do prefer a more “sci-fi lite” serving where a compact format still gives it space to grow. A particular favorite for me was a fantasy piece called Dragons I Have Slain. It dances between the point of view of a reluctant slayer and the dragons themselves, with gorgeous prose. Allen's compilation might not be a weighty volume but the plots run deep and I had no trouble spending a day in the company of his words.

Natalie Soine

Chambers of the Heart is a collection of intriguing short stories about love and loss, the likes of which have never been written before. Author B. Morris Allen has used many of his life experiences to create a unique perspective on what happens to people and the impact on their lives as well as the choices we make. The stories encourage us to ask ourselves questions that we would not previously have considered. What is significant when spending time with our children, showing the world our real selves and what to do when our loved ones sink away from us? Have you found yourself in the hall of Longing, in an alcove of Yearning or a gallery of Ache? These are just a few of the meaningful questions that we never knew needed answers to until now.

One of the most unusual and inspiring books I have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed Chambers of the Heart. Author B. Morris Allen has an especially unusual and descriptive writing style. The array of earthly and alien characters carries each story forward with beautifully written dialogue. There are many lessons to be learned in these stories, each one unique and inspiring. For example, there are times when people need us more than our own families do, but then our priorities and loyalties come into question. Our words and actions impact the lives of others which in turn come back to us. Chambers of the Heart is a book for everyone. I would recommend it to readers of all ages.

Manik Chaturmutha

Chamber of the Heart by B. Morris Allen is an anthology of several short stories featuring different genres such as fantasy, sci-fi fiction, and romance wrapped up in life lessons. Each tale has its unique set of problems and has a different focus as they highlight different themes like love, separation, cruelty, and hope. For example, in the opening story, 'Chambers of the Heart,' various chambers/rooms in the heart have been explored like the hall of longings, alcove of yearning, gallery of ache, and wall of satisfaction. It highlights how a person moves through different emotions and how difficult it is to live inside someone's heart. In the same way, the stories that follow have their focus and have marked issues that usually go unexpressed.

B. Morris Allen has effectively highlighted issues that usually go unseen. The anthology presents diversity throughout the stories, making them entertaining. While some stories are emotional and funny, some are dark as they have underlined torture and savagery. Furthermore, Morris has provided a note at the end of each story describing how he developed or came up with the idea of the story. The author's entry makes it easy to understand the hidden/real meaning behind the story. Also, the stories are more character-driven and focus more on emotions than a high-end plot. This made the stories more engaging and relatable. Finally, the use and placement of poetic devices was a smart move, although it could be difficult for readers who do not understand the function of these devices. Overall, Chambers of the Heart is lyrical with fantastic stories of diverse nature. It is highly recommended if you love reading anthologies and fantasy stories.