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Expiration Date

Nancy Kilpatrick (Editor)

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Published : 2015

Copyright : Nancy Kilpatrick 2015

ISBN-10 : PB 1-77053-062-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-77053-062-1

Publisher's Write-Up

This new anthology focuses on the what-ifs of the "end-dates" that surround us, and how they impact our lives and our world, and ourselves. "Modern lives seem littered with expiration dates" says anthology editor Nancy Kilpatrick. "Packaging tells us when our food will go bad; when we can expect appliances to cease functioning; when contracts for the internet finish! But as annoying as these small expiration dates are, they fade to nothing compared to the larger events: when a species goes extinct; when a body of water evaporates, or dies because the PH balance alters; when giant icebergs break apart and glaciers melt forever, threatening the ecosystem of this planet."

Kilpatrick reminds us "From the micro to the macro in terms of expirations, we are faced with the one termination with which we are all too familiar - the up-close-and-personal end of life for each of us and for the ones we love. It's the personal that terrifies us most because it feels the most real."

Expiration Date features 25 original pieces of short fiction by some of the world's top Dark Fiction writers. Arranged in three sections, the table of contents include:

Negotiating Oblivion
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word - Kelley Armstrong
Banshee - Daniel Sernine (translation by Sheryl Curtis)
Riding Shotgun - Elaine Pascale
The Twenty Seven Club - J. M. Frey
Trinity Death - Steve Vernon
What I Said to Richie was? - Ken Goldman
To Dance, Perchance to Die - David McDonald
Death Doll - Lois H. Gresh

Resisting Extinction
The Long Wait - R. B. Payne
That Brightness - Mary E. Choo
Night Market - Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem
Sooner - Morgan Dambergs
The Great Inevitable - Patricia Flewwelling
In a Moment - Christine Steendam
Death Drives a Cordoba - Ryan McFadden
Prison Break - Tobin Elliott
This Strange Way of Dying - Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Deaths of Jeremiah Colverson - George Wilhite

Best Before/Best After
The Shadow of Death - Paul Kane
An Inspector Calls - Rebecca Bradley
What Would Lizzie Do? - Sephera Giron
Ashes to Ashes - Amy Grech
The Greyness - Kathryn Ptacek
Things in jars - Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Right of Survivorship - Nancy Holder and Erin Underwood

The stories span a range of emotions. Some will make you laugh, other will make you cry. They are grim and hopeful, sad and joyous, horrifying and comforting. Each has its own personality and will touch you in its own way.

"Every one of us comes with an alpha and an omega stamp, an inception and an expiration date." says Kilpatrick, "Knowing this is what allows us to focus on what is truly important: paying attention to our best-before date and treating ourselves, each other and life in general with kindness, understanding, respect, and experiencing the awe of the miracle that we are, at this very moment, alive!"

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (311016) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 9/10

Many things in life have an ending or an expiration date. It can range from the food in your refrigerator, to the finish of a horse race, to the stopping of a stop-watch, to the end of a person's life. That's what this group of new stories is all about.

Stuck in that split second before dying (or not dying) in an auto accident, a woman gets to see how her family will survive, both with her and without her. Fascinated by death from an early age, a woman becomes an EMT to get as close to death as possible. She learns that when a person's time has come, getting in the way, and bringing them back to life, is not a good idea. Death makes several appearances in this book.

A group of present-day ghost hunters gets a little too close to the ghost of Lizzie Borden and her axe. A young boy is visiting his very sick younger brother in the hospital; the younger brother's life expectancy is down to minutes. Does he tell his younger brother what he really thinks, that there is nothing after this life, except blackness and decay? On the other hand, does Older Brother tell Younger Brother that he is going to nice place full of green grass, where he will meet his deceased grandparents?

When a person dies suddenly, like in an auto accident, is there someone nearby to help them get to the Other Side, or do they have to find their own way? There are a couple of stories about people who, from the outside, look to be in an irreversible coma, but, on the inside, they are very much alive.

I enjoyed reading this book. All of the stories are excellent; some of them actually reach the level of Wow. Only a couple of stories get into actual horror. Death will affect everyone eventually; these tales provide some possible ways that it will happen. This is highly recommended.
Paul Lappen (31st October 2016)

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