Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Fiction - Science Fiction
231 Pages
Reviewed on 07/06/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi is my second foray in the wonderful writings of Rich DiSilvio and to say I am impressed would be an understatement. He is a master of words; he chooses his words so wisely so that they have the best impact on the reader. Every short story is a slice of life that you experience with the characters and live it with them. Dark Side of the Moon, The Gorgon and Slumber Mountain were the three most favorite out of the six short stories in this collection. They are a perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy to have a little something for everyone. There were elements of mystery and suspense that actually supported the stories and created a perfect mix that just worked. I enjoyed the flow of the stories, the way the characters were portrayed and how the stories were developed.

While the stories are very well written, I loved the illustrations just as much. They added to the stories, gave me a perspective of what the story was about and just added a new layer to the writing. I believe that Rich DiSilviois very talented. He has a gift of storytelling that he actually uses to the best of his abilities. Some of the stories are best described as absurd literature, but most of them are perfect examples of fantasy/sci-fi. I cannot wait to read more from Rich DiSilvio as he is quickly becoming one of my most favorite authors. Another great collection!

K.C. Finn

Short Stories IV: Fantasy and Sci-Fi is an anthology collection of short works penned by author Rich DiSilvio. As the fourth short story collection by the author and the second to include works of speculative and science fiction themes, this new collection includes such tales as The Stone Balls of Aberdeen, Dark Side of the Moon, Slumber Mountain, Reflections of Conquest, The Gorgon, and The Masque. Each has its own out of this world quality as the bizarre interacts with the mundane, but at the heart of each story is a comment on the typicality of human nature and our behavior in such unusual situations.

Author Rich DiSilvio collects a truly fascinating group of central characters together to hold up his intriguing fiction. The thing that strikes me most is the strong sense of character that we get, even from the opening paragraphs, of who a person is, making the reader truly invested in the tale before the plot has even really taken off. My favorite tale in this collection was The Masque, where pretty boy Victor Laveau reinvents his boring, blank slate life when the New Orleans Mardi Gras comes to town. The plot constructions in this and DiSilvio’s other tales are genuinely impossible to guess, sending readers on a wild ride of sudden consequences and plot twists which keep the narrative and the mystery alive. Though they are primarily in the fantasy and sci-fi realm, these are multi-genre tales that truly captivate, giving Short Stories IV: Fantasy and Sci-Fi a true magic of its own.

Lit Amri

Time travel, space expedition, cannibals, alien contact, hybrid monster, and a life-changing mask, Rich DiSilvio returns with more wonderfully imaginative and eclectic tales in Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi. Suspenseful and funny, "The Stone Balls of Aberdeen" is about sexagenarian John Halford who's adamant that the majestic Craigievar Castle should be his-a legitimate male heir to the Forbes baronetcy-and not the National Trust for Scotland. This '90s Scottish tale is a fitting start to the collection and easily became my first favorite. It even made me interested to look into the Forbes family and Craigievar Castle history. In "Slumber Mountain", after overcoming hostile natives and shocking deaths of their comrades, an ambitious Viking expedition finally arrives at a mysterious island where an advanced civilization welcomes the weary explorers. The Vikings are content in their new home until their leader discovers a shocking truth about their host. It's a gem of a horror tale that I would love to see on screen.

DiSilvio shares his thoughts on current political issues in "Reflections of Conquest", a visionary tale on how bad the situation can get if critical problems are not handled properly in our times. It has the weightiest plot and message compared to others and perhaps the most personal tale from the author. Teetering between realism and fantasy, illustrations are included for readers' visual pleasure. Themes of greed, revenge, sacrifice, love, and death weight the plots and flesh out the memorable characters. Overall, Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi is another compelling and entertaining installment for fans of the series.


I always look forward to the release of another book from DiSilvio because it will be an entertaining exercise to wade through the remarkable imagination of a great writer.

Written with tremendous skill, excellent character development, and page-turning stories, his latest book of short stories does not disappoint at all. In fact, this might be his best effort to date.

I've had the pleasure of reading most all of his books and have always found immense enjoyment in each one. So, if you're new to DiSilvio explore his other offerings as well as this one, you won't be disappointed.