The Dimension Scales and Other Stories by Gary Abbott


The Dimension Scales and Other Stories by Gary Abbott
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (129 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Garry Abbott’s THE DIMENSION SCALES AND OTHER STORIES is a collection of fourteen short speculative fictions. THE DIMENSION SCALES is based around themes of malevolent and secret authorities, metamorphosis, survival and projections of contemporary fears into near-future realities.

From worlds inhabited by murderous animals, inept time travellers and clandestine, suburban social experiments—to the sentience, love and moral awakenings of artificial intelligences—THE DIMENSION SCALES invites you to explore the twists and perils of extraordinary moments in disturbingly familiar universes, linked together by one devastating epiphany:

“Something happened, and the world splintered…”

Not every surprise in life is necessarily a good one.

While these stories can be understood without reading that section ahead of time, I highly recommend absorbing what the preface has to say before flipping to the next page. It only takes a few minutes, and knowing where the author was coming from beforehand greatly enhanced my reading experience.

“The Dimension Scales” begins with a man named Daryl cleaning up yet another small creature that his cat has expertly sliced apart inside the house. What happens next is one of the biggest reasons why I’m so eagerly anticipating Mr. Abbott’s next book. It takes a great deal of skill so pack so much intrigue into such a short story, and seeing how he managed to pull it off has earned this writer another fan.

Every story in this collection had an engaging premise. In a handful of cases, though, I wished the audience would have been given a little more information about what was happening. “Black Swarm,” which is about two men who try fumigate the kitchen after one of them discovers he has a serious ant infestation, is a good example of this. It has strong pacing and likeable characters, but the ending was a little abrupt. Cutting the plot off so suddenly made the rest of this tale feel slightly disjointed.

Repetitive, unnecessary noise is one of the most annoying things about living in close proximity to one’s neighbours. “The Beep Next Door” explores what happens to a man who has been driven to the breaking point by a beeping noise he can’t identify. The fast pace and generous use of plot twists in this story kept me guessing until the final paragraph. The last scene was so surprising and perfect for everything that had happened earlier that I laughed out loud when all was revealed.

Mr. Abbott doesn’t spoon-feed his audience. There were certain tales that I had to sit and think about for a little while before I understood how all of their pieces fit together, but it was always an invigorating process for this reader. Sometimes faintly implying something is far more powerful than spelling it out explicitly because it leaves so much room for interpretation

The Dimension Scales and Other Stories is the kind of anthology I can see myself reading over and over again. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves truly imaginative science fiction.

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