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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Parallels: Felix Was Here by various authors, under the banner of the Insecure Writers Support Group, contains ten well-presented science fiction stories, starting with Felix Was Here by L.G. Keltner, in which a young woman living in a closed community questions the reality and validity of her life and surroundings. This is followed by Rainers by Sandra Cox, an unsettling tale where efforts to eradicate the disease rabies result in terrifying side effects, then WIN by Sylvia Ney, a fascinating story dealing with a future in which mankind has relied much too heavily on the internet. Fourth is Ground Zero by Michael Abayomi, in which a young man searches for his dead father amongst the nuclear-blasted ruins of New York, followed by The Mirror People by Crystal Collier, which sees the life of a sadistic serial killer from the viewpoint of his mirror image.
Ever-Ton by Yolanda Renee is a fast paced tale of a mother’s quest to rescue her daughter and escape from a dying planet Earth is the sixth offering. Seventh is The Folds In Life And Death by Cherie Reich, set in an alternative reality where the US President is killed and his sister must release his soul to the sky. The Seventeen by Heart Johnson is the eighth tale, which imagines what would happen to pharmaceutical test volunteers if today’s safeguards had never been put in place. This is followed by Scrying The Plane by Tamara Narayan, which relates the experiences of a young woman as she discovers the beguiling world of virtual reality. Finally, we have Haunted by Melanie Schulz, a disturbing tale of love, loss and alternative lives.
The Insecure Writers Support Group can take credit and perhaps release some of the insecurity of its members as a result of this polished anthology from a group of accomplished authors. The tales reminded me very much of the stories aired in TV programmes like the Twilight Zone, rather than those of the deep space, faraway galaxy genre. Parallels, though moody, spooky and disturbing in places, is an eminently readable anthology with much to recommend it.