If you’re a regular reader of this blog (or a Geek Watch One listener), you know by now that I’m a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, be it in books or on tv or in film. You probably also know that I enjoy anthology series. The thing is, as much as I love reading, I’m not that into short story collections. Despite that, I gave Guardian Angels & Other Monsters a try, mainly due to the sci-fi angle.
This collection of 14 stories, written by Daniel H. Wilson, is a mix of alternate realities, apocalyptic environments and near future possibilities. All of the stories involve technology in some way, with many focusing on robotics or artificial intelligence (the first story, “Miss Gloria” is an impressively creative account of AI following its protocol). And, in the fashion of Black Mirror, most of the stories have dark endings – and some are dark pretty much the entire time (“Helmet” is a good example).
Overall, this is a well-written and thought provoking collection. I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, but that’s to be expected in any collection. The prevailing overarching theme of family, especially parent/child and sibling dynamics, was a bit repetitive. But because each story is so different, that wasn’t something that ruined the individual tales. The author’s creativity with the technology and his ability to change the atmosphere of each story is commendable. It felt like each was its own world, yet was recognizable enough for readers to identify with the characters and situations.
Guardian Angels & Other Monsters is available now. And if the author’s style appeals to you, his novel Robopocalypse (there’s a story from that world in this collection) is currently in development as a Michael Bay movie.