Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Fiction - Science Fiction
208 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.

Randy Myers

Quick on the heels of Short Stories III: Strange, Weird & Sci-Fi, Rich DiSilvio is back with another batch of tales from the realms of Science Fiction and Fantasy with Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi. As always, the stories are often topical and relevant to the social and political issues of the present day.

In my eyes, what really makes this collection special is a tale of courage and selflessness during a mission to the moon. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the crowning achievements of humankind, what a great tribute this author has offered with "Dark Side of the Moon". This alone is worth the price of admission to Short Stories IV.

But there is more! So much more.

Short Stories IV actually opens with a fantastical mashup of European history. What do Germany’s Graf Zeppelin and Scotland’s Craigievar Castle and prehistoric carved stone balls have in common? Time travel, of course! I love this stuff. Time travel paradoxes are always fun to ponder. But what makes this especially engrossing and fun is the author’s ability to weave era-crossing historical facts into this outlandish yarn. While being wildly entertained, Rich DiSilvio whets the appetite for historical knowledge.

Short Stories IV continues with imaginative tales based on the explorations of the great Viking Chieftain Leif Erikson, Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and Japan’s Suicide Forest. How can anyone not be intrigued with subject matter like that? And I guarantee you will not be expecting the paths the author leads you down with them. There is also a story of significant relevance to where we find ourselves today. This is a fictional representation of one possible future born of our current political and societal ills. Whether you agree with it or not, you can’t say it doesn’t make you think. And that is a hallmark of great fiction.

Short Stores IV leaves me eager for Short Stories V, should there be one. Rich DiSilvio's range is as wide as it is deep, so I have no idea what to expect, but I know I am intrigued.

Phil Bolos

Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi by Rich DiSilvio is a fantastic anthology of short stories with a wide range of genres and plots. The time periods range wildly in the stories as well as the fantastic elements. Really, there is something for everyone in the stories here.

Heroes from history appear along with new and original characters that add a new level of fun and flair to the events in the stories. The characters are developed well as is the setting for the different stories. The artwork that goes along with the stories also does a great job of bringing the characters to life, giving the reader a visual understanding of the settings. Fans of science fiction will enjoy this read along with fans of fantasy. Very often these two genres become intertwined in the stories from DiSilvio in fun and fantastic ways. You will not be disappointed with this one!

Faith Lee


“Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi” is a compilation of short stories featuring time travel, space expedition, cannibals, alien contact, a hybrid monster, and a life-changing mask.

The stories are highly imaginative and engaging. The bite-sized stories also make it fun and easy to read even if you only have small pockets of time.

This is my second Rich DiSilvio book and I must say it is a joy to read his works again. The stories are exciting, fascinating, and witty.

A most certainly entertaining book which I would recommend to both lovers of fantasy and science fiction

Mis C.

“Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi” is the fourth book in this series written and illustrated by Rich Disilvio, multi-award-winning author of thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, non-fiction and children's books.

This book has many enjoyable short stories spread around more than two hundred pages. This is the first book I read from this author and I am well surprised because I liked his writing style and his ideas for his stories. Moreover, illustrations are very good and, as far I as know, it is the author also who did them.

What I most liked about the stories is the descriptive language the author uses. What is more, the ideas for the plots are characters are very good and this is another good point. I will certainly recommend reading this enjoyable short stories and I would like to read more from this author.

Davis Handley

Great Collection of Well Written Short Stories

‘Short Stories IV: Fantasy & Sci-Fi’ is the fourth collection of short stories that Rich Disilvio has published. These stories are quick but very fun and enjoyable to read. DiSilvio has a rich writing style that is full of details and subtleties.

His writing has so much imagination and thought put into it that makes his stories engaging from the start without any lulls. A great addition to any sci-fi library! Great for a quick afternoon read!