Ninth Planet

Fiction - Anthology
420 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2023
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Jason Palmer is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, and science-fiction novels and short stories. His unique tales are a study of character set in the underbelly of society, drawn from years working and wandering throughout North America, from Guadalajara to Fairbanks, often on the wrong side of the tracks.

Palmer’s writing pulls together pungent style and gritty action with a hint of the fantastic as he challenges himself to give his readers something they can’t get anywhere else. He currently lives and writes in Southern Colorado.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Ninth Planet is a set of short stories in the speculative and anthology subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience and is penned by Jason Palmer. In this unique collection of nine short stories with deeply multi-layered and multi-genre influences and ideas, we get a real sense of the chilling future that technology might provide if we let it run amok. Asking the vital question, should we do this just because we can, these nine tales take us through experimental and potentially sinister medical marvels, seemingly intuitive and useful advertising technologies, dangerous devices that threaten humanity, and more.

Jason Palmer has produced a fantastic set of speculative works with plenty of science fiction for the core audience. Still, they’re penned in such an accessible way they will appeal to everyone from literary fans to keen horror readers, interpersonal drama audiences, and psychological thriller nerds alike. The commonality of the collection is Palmer’s style, which strips back any unnecessary bells, whistles, and popular flourishes to leave a frank and highly visual story that will give you a short, sharp shock every time. I found myself especially enthralled by the eerie events of Son of Man and may never hear the phrase 'expectant father' in quite the same way again! Overall, readers of all kinds will find much to enthrall them in Ninth Planet. I highly recommend it for speculative and sci-fi enthusiasts looking for a brilliant new author and an instant favorite.

Asher Syed

Ninth Planet by Jason Palmer is a collection of original science fiction short stories and one fantasy tale. The compilation comprises nine complete stories, each reading wholly independent of the other as stand-alone pieces. They vary widely in length, tone, tenor, and style, with stories such as Starter House, where a family that resides in a living, breathing house faces the consequences of their callousness. Conditional Perfect weaves together the perversity of 'love' where its object is an unwitting recipient; and Martin the Dictator, who makes a shocking non-decision decision regarding one-hundred and fifty million alien refugees that turns out to have consequences on a microscopic level.

Jason Palmer has one heck of a creative imagination and one would hope that Ninth Planet turns out to be the first of many anthologies he gifts science fiction readers. With the world-building required in order just to set the foundation of a science fiction story that has any hope of engrossing a reader, the skill needed to embed technology, language, social structure, character development, and a whole plot into a few pages is really, really hard to come by. The rogue fantasy short story, Another Man's Treasure, was my least favorite. It's as well written as the others but somehow including magic among sci-fi mechanics feels like cheating. My favorite is Jacob and the Angels, a story that rides along an arc of solving a mystery but has an undertone of beautiful irony when early on a character complains about how crappy dialogue in a novel can be in a story that Palmer has constructed primarily out of dialogue. The difference? Palmer's is exceptional. Very highly recommended.

Jamie Michele

Jason Palmer has collated a combination of nine science fiction and fantasy stories and delivers them in a single volume called Ninth Planet. The science fiction stories include, but are certainly not limited to, a man who embodies the saying, “You don't own your house, your house owns you,” in Starter House and one sorry Charley who becomes a futuristic petri dish for billions of years lost species in Son of Man. The fantasy story is called One Man's Treasure and follows a hero's journey with some unexpected sights and, more pointedly, scents, with an unexpected twist that sheds light on the origin of the story's title. All nine of Palmer's short stories are stand-alone.

I was so amused by Martin the Dictator that I bookmarked it so I could go back whenever I wanted to smile. As the story goes, no country on Earth is willing to take in refugees who come from somewhere in deep space after losing everything. The theme is reminiscent of the xenophobia Western countries exhibit today, a willingness to take in 'their own' but not 'others'. What's interesting is that Martin technically makes a choice by not making one at all, and the hundred million plus that land are unlikely to have any negative impact on the country. Or that anyone would even notice they are there. The nuances of Jason Palmer's themes in Ninth Planet are as crafty as the stories and the parallels between science fiction and hints at realism are all there. Ninth Planet is deliciously written, completely immersive, and just plain fantastic overall.