Star Wars: From a Certain Point Of View – A Book Review

This collection of short stories will satisfy every Star Wars fan alive.  The premise is genius.  It takes small, seemingly unimportant moments from A New Hope and zeroes in on them.  It provides names and backstories, tragedies and victories, motivations and inclinations.  It satisfyingly adds to a universe already well developed.

One of these stories in particular proved among my favorites.  Do you remember the guy standing lookout in the crow’s nest of a pole?  You saw him as the X-Wings took off to intercept the Death Star?  His story is written by Will Wheaton, entitled “Laina,” and it is absolutely heartbreaking.  There is another called “Time of Death” which features Obi-Wan Kenobi’s final moments and thoughts as he faced certain death at the hands of his former apprentice.  Speaking of such, Claudia Gray wrote “Master and Apprentice” which explores Qui-Gon Jinn’s spirit visiting Obi-Wan on Tatooine.  Still another is called “There Is Another,” and it’s about Yoda living on Dagobah and wishing he could train one last Jedi–someone he believes has great potential.

Of course, as you can see, not all stories are directly related to a moment in A New Hope.  Such as with the Yoda story, some of the stories check in on characters technically not introduced in the original 1977 classic.  Boba Fett, for example, offers a first-person account during a bounty hunt.  We have a story starring Lando trying to swindle someone.  We have another with Doctor Aphra, a relatively new character, in the lead.  Yet another stars the Emperor himself.

However, these are all pretty big names in the Star Wars mythology.  Most of the short stories actually utilize characters that are essentially unknown.  Remember the red R2 unit that Luke and Uncle Owen almost bought?  He’s got a story.  Do you recall the Tusken Raiders who knocked out Luke?  Yep, they have a story, too.  That bartender who told Luke to get the droids out of his tavern?  You guessed it.  Even one of those little mouse droids in the Death Star has a story.

Are all forty of these short stories great?  Not in my opinion, no.  However, those that didn’t speak to me personally may very well be your favorite.  I will say this, though, the vast majority of them were exceptional.  The writers’ ability to take seemingly irrelevant characters and develop them into engaging, charismatic figures proved uncanny.

I highly recommend this book for any Star Wars fan.

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 (Did you enjoy this review?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)

 

 

 

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Enjoy “A Blind Date For a New Year”

BLINDDATENEWYEAR

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In this short story, Bart and Ellen meet for the first time at an exclusive restaurant on New Year’s Eve, and it would seem they could not be more different. As conversation ensues, those differences seem to only compound as the awkwardness of a blind date builds. Clearly opposites in nearly every way, is there anything that can save the evening? (Humor/Love/Holiday)

Christmas On the Golf Course – My Short Story Of the Week

Craig Clark thought he had the golf course all to himself on Christmas Day, so imagine his surprise when the biggest man he’d ever seen rolled up in a red golf cart decked out in silver sleigh bells.  Download your copy now to enjoy!

CHRISTMAS ON THE GOLF COURSE

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Swingin the Clown – My Latest (Creepy) Short Story

Swingin the Clown: A Short Story by [Foley, Scott William ]

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As usual, Sadie peeks out the back window before going to bed. This night, though, a clown sits upon their swings. Against her husband’s wishes, she confronts the stranger. She will wish she hadn’t. (Horror)

Stories Of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang – A Book Review

As you know, I loved the film Arrival.  As is my habit after watching a great movie based on a book, I immediately acquired the source material.  It turns out that Stories Of Your Life and Others is actually a short story collection and “Story Of Your Life” is specifically the installment that served as Arrival’s source.  However, there are seven other shorts in this collection by Ted Chiang, and they are all imaginative and thought-provoking.

Chiang trained as a computer scientist, and it shows in his writing.  He is very precise, very analytical, and very scientific.  Yet he also has a great sense of character, pacing, and detail.  I especially appreciate that he seems to know the appropriate time to really delve deeply into scientific jargon, but he also knows the right time to pull back and simply let the story flow.

I would not say that all of his stories are purely science fiction, by the way.  “Tower Of Babylon,” for example, explains the science behind building a structure reaching to the heavens, but I would say it is more commentary about the human spirit than anything.  “Hell Is the Absence Of God,” a story about the physical, spiritual, and emotional consequences following sporadic visits by actual angels, is also far more about what it means to be human than anything else.

In fact, at their root, most of Chiang’s stories in this collection are investigating the plight of the human condition.  He tackles love, greed, beauty, sin, justice, obsession, honesty, and even eternal life, but he does so in extremely smart, original, and imaginative ways hidden within the genres of science fiction, steampunk, and fantasy.

If you enjoy innovative, thought-provoking stories, I highly recommend this collection.  They are all fairly complex reads, but well worth the effort.  You will like some more than others, but each is to be appreciated in its own way.

(Did you enjoy this review?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)

A Nice Review For The Imagination’s Provocation: Volume II

I want to take a moment and thank Joy Tashlik for offering some kind words about my short story collection entitled The Imagination’s Provocation: Volume II.

She wrote, “This collection of short stories reads like a series of Twilight Zone episodes, in the most excellent way. The narratives start off plausibly enough, in an old man’s house, a husband bringing his wife to visit his hometown, a burned out intellectual returning home in shame, a bed and breakfast, even the streets of a college campus, but they take the most delicious twisted turns. The book is appropriately titled. The stories within are wonderfully written and spring to life as you read. Each story is self-contained and fairly short in length. Most even lend themselves to great read-alouds. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves a good tale as well as the English teacher looking to inspire their students. Scott William Foley also has some other amazing books. I would recommend his works highly.”

Even though this particular book has been out for nearly ten years, it’s exciting to know it’s still entertaining readers.

Visit Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com if you’d like a copy.

The Imagination’s Provocation: Volume II In Canada!

I love it when people send me pictures of themselves reading my books.  This photograph of The Imagination’s Provocation: Volume II is sent in by Jacob Padin while vacationing in Canada.  Thanks, Jacob, and I hope you enjoyed the short story collection!

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