Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Announcing 4 Star Stories Issue 13

Whether you are a newcomer or an old friend, you will find something in this issue of 4 Star Stories to interest and entertain. Join us at

First up is a new twist on the classic boy-meets-dragon story by Edward Ahern − Care and Feeding.

A contemporary tale of “girl saves Earth”, Speaking Up, from Brynn Macnab takes us into the mind of a little girl who just wants to be left alone.

A talented and prolific author from New Zealand, Sean Monaghan weaves a story that bends the concepts of contemporary theoretical physics in Big Catch.

Finally, expatriate Brit Jez Patterson shows us that not since “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” has the Earth been as threatened by a lowly fruit as in Squidge.

Our Bonus Story this issue is Operation Rugido Ratón by D H Richards. A tourist in Cuba is more than he seems. The military installation out in the boonies is more than it seems. Did you think the space race ended in the Sixties? Think again!

Our Guest Art for Issue 13 is an Artist Retrospective featuring the work of Jack Coggins, a space and technology illustrator from the 1950’s. Not as well known as Chesley Bonestell, but familiar to those of us who grew up in that time period, Jack Coggins uses light and shadow to dramatic effect in his depictions of space hardware and a trip to the moon.

As always, a timely Editorial from our Editors rounds out the issue, along with useful information from your humble Webmaster.

Come to visit, stay to enjoy... 4 Star

The Editors


The next issue of 4 Star Stories will fearture my short story "The Grove of Curiosities"

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Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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