S.G. Browne is one of my instabuy authors, and has held a special place in my reading heart since I got my hands on his first novel Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament way back in 2009.
Not so fun fact: reviews for all of but his first tome exist here on Bibliomantics starting in 2011 when my writing skills were mediocre at best. What I’m saying is, don’t judge me too harshly if you choose to dig back into those.
Anyway, when Browne contacted me to review his latest three short stories I was all in, even more so when I saw their subject matter ranged from monster college to retired supervillains and kaiju.
All of the shorts — which weigh in at a mere 20 pages — are definitely worth a read. You can find out more about why below!
In his first new short story, Browne goes back to his zombie roots for a tale set at Bela Lugosi University. In a world where werewolves are jocks and vampires are frat brothers, zombies are treated like second class monsters and relegated to being the butt of everyone’s derision and jokes. Think of them as the nerds, and these nerds are about to take their revenge. Part satire but all humor, get ready for some serious nods to the horror genre.
Narrated by the Dr. Jekyll, Browne’s second short story release is set at a retirement home for villains feeling the sting of their irrelevancy. Hard at work on his memoirs — he has met the likes of Walter White and Lord Voldemort after all — Jekyll and his pals Moriarty and Dracula are struggling to deal with being shunned for their classic villain status by newer offerings like Agent Smith. Much like his amazing book Big Egos, this story’s strength lies in its references.
My favorite of the three new offerings — which isn’t out until tomorrow (Aug. 29) — follows a young girl living in Japan named Etsuko. After gaining an invite to a popular girl’s birthday party, Etsuko checks with her local weatherman father to learn if the party will be ruined by thunderstorms or the appearance of kaiju. While completely different in tone to the other shorts, Scattered Showers with a Chance of Daikaju is both intriguing and ultimately touching.