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As a book blogger, it’s lovely to return to authors that you’ve previously reviewed. So far I’ve reviewed three short stories by Anton Eine, and this fourth review is of his whole short story collection, Human Kind. As well as the three already reviewed, it contains a whole host of different sci-fi short stories for the reader to indulge in over a coffee (or three).
***AD: This post features a press sample but all thoughts are my own***
“Anton Eine’s “Human Kind” is a thematic compilation of science fiction short stories dedicated to questions that have concerned humanity throughout time. Who are we? Where do we come from? What awaits us? Are we alone in the universe? Why can’t we travel in time or divide by zero? What does it mean to be human? And of course – what are we here for?
This collection comprises works in various formats – from flash fiction and short stories to novella. Funny and witty, kind and appetizing, sad and sometimes tense and disturbing. They are also all presented in various different styles ranging from traditional narratives, monologues and memoirs to modern stories in the form of pure dialogue, chat messages or an email thread.
The confession of a fallen angel, the ruthless business practices of corporate aliens, Napoleon in the heat of a decisive battle, experiments on human beings, role-playing games on a planetary scale, fantastic culinary competitions, unexpected future fashions, witch hunt, mysterious disappearances, monsters under the bed, temporal paradoxes, cosmic archeology and the artefacts of extinct civilizations – all this and much more can be found in Anton Eine’s “Human Kind”!”
(Taken from Goodreads)
My first introduction to Anton Eine was his short story The Cleansing. It taught me two things about him – he’s excellent at writing twists, and he sees no limits when it comes to fiction. Both positive things! I then read Post-Molecular Comfort Food, as bizarre as the title suggests and another wonderful short piece full of imagination. And finally, I reviewed Plus Ten, a curious short story with a concept many gamers will find of interest.
Eine’s writing mind is an interesting one, and I did wonder if reading many of his short stories would lead to them becoming a bit predictable. It can sometimes become the case with authors, as they can use the same formulae and structures. I was nicely surprised to find out that this was not the case with him. Somehow, he manages to create complete surprise within every story (even if you’re trying to think like him!). The twists are so leftfield and bizarre, too, often throwing the entire story on its head. It’s a great device, as you’re then left wanting to read the whole story again with your newfound perspective.
Each story fits within the sci-fi genre, but on quite a broad spectrum. Some stories take place in space, others in the future, and some just have some sort of sci-fi element to them that makes the world different. I feel like the setting for a lot of the stories comes from Eine thinking “Imagine if this were the case instead…” – so much imagination goes into each one, and they ponder over quite curious situations. They’re largely looking at humanity through different lenses – ones we might not even have considered.
Some of the environments were so interesting that I really wanted to read more from them. Without giving them away, stories like The Plumber and Tech Support had the most fantastic ideas within and really got me thinking about life on our planet. Other stories, like Utility Bill and Little Black Dress, completely turn life as we know it upside down. And one of my favourites was simply entitled Failure… I can’t tell you anything about it because it will give it away, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that it’s such a clever and brilliant piece of prose.
I liked the cover – simpler than Eine’s usual choices, but it works. There were a few typos as a I was reading which was slightly distracting, but this can be something that occurs with translated texts. Most of the stories take under ten minutes to read, with some only a few pages long. The longest one actually accounts for a quarter of the text, which took around 45 minutes to read, and I actually really liked ended on something a bit different. A world that could be more expanded on. It’s hard to choose a favourite story as I really did enjoy all of them!
Human Kind has a solid recommendation from me. I felt a greater connection with the author, being able to read many of his stories in one collection, and they truly show the capabilities that he has as a writer. I definitely enjoyed some more than others, but every story is at least good at some of them are truly excellent. There is such a great range of themes – philosophy, religion, and much more.
I’m not even a massive sci-fi reader but I loved the collection as a whole. For anyone that does read sci-fi a lot, this is a must-have for your bookshelf.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Human Kind then you can do so here:
“Anton Eine is sci-fi and technofantasy author from Kyiv, Ukraine.
After building his successful carrier in marketing, he decided to let his creativity writing fantastic fiction books to actualize numerous ideas he had in his mind for years.
Anton is passionate about food (and some drinks of course!), photography, animals (especially wild cats) and rock music. He likes embedding his hobbies into the fantastic canvas of his writings and to share that passion with readers.
Anton Eine officially can’t stand any limits and boundaries, so his books usually step out of the box of traditional genres, crossing the edges of conventional storytelling and blurring the borders of common thinking.
Author of short sci-fi stories collection “Human Kind”, techno-fantasy cycle “Programagic” and superhero series “Maze City Stories”.”
(Taken from Goodreads)
Have you read any sci-fi short stories below? What are your favourite themes? Share below, and don’t forget to like and pin if you enjoyed this review! You may also like the following sci-fi and fantasy books: