By: Andrew Redman
Overall Average: 3.33 out of 5
Conclusion: There are a couple of must-reads here, but there are also several disappointments. Luckily, you get to pick and choose which entries in the Forward series you purchase; I recommend Summer Frost and The Last Conversation above any other.
Summer Frost – by Blake Crouch
5 out of 5
This is fantastic science-fiction. The story was well developed, the characters were realistic and expressive, and the finale was phenomenal. Not only is this all quite plausible, it’s something I could see happening in my lifetime (though, I hope I don’t).
The Last Conversation – by Paul Tremblay
4 out of 5
Though this story is a bit slow, it’s short and powerful. As always, Tremblay’s style burns bright, increasing the emotional pull of this one. I would definitely enjoy a longer story in this vein, one that took us from the collapse, through the tests, and to a satisfying conclusion. But I also know Tremblay isn’t much for concrete endings, so I probably wouldn’t get all of that.
Ark – by Veronica Roth
3 out of 5
This was well written and accompanied by a nice backdrop. That being said, I felt the story was too uneventful and slow for my taste. I kept drifting off during Ark as a result.
Emergency Skin – by N. K. Jemisin
3 out of 5
I love the concept of Emergency Skin and the reveals along the way. However, the style in which it is written is annoyingly difficult to follow. The way the dialogue is presented intertwined with the storytelling left me grasping frequently, having to assume what the character was saying or doing. If this had had a more traditional format, I probably would have loved Emergency Skin.
Randomize – by Andy Weird
3 out of 5
This has an interesting idea that could easily be expanded into a novella or novel length. At this size, though, it lacks the suspense that could be implemented with ease.
You Have Arrived at Your Destination – by Amor Towles
2 out of 5
There was an idea here that could have been great, but it felt underdeveloped and ultimately ignored in the end. The statement Towles seems to be making at the end is not only flat, it makes the ride feel like a waste of time. What happened to the theatrics?