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1) Each location, be it mundane or fantastical, is lovingly described and vividly imagined. The author manages to write two stories about tours through Alaska without the setting feeling rehashed between them, evokes changes in two women’s lives by the state of a car and a single office plant, and even manages to write a Halloween story that feels fresh through the use of weather. While most of these stories are in a contemporary setting, I must give a special shout-out to the one SFF story in this collection, as well as the fantastical visuals included in another otherwise-mundane tale. The author’s worldbuilding is filled with so many intricate details, from how children would survive on a desert planet (and how this fits into an intergalactic war) to how dangerous lasers would actually be in space. Even the story “The Gift,” which takes place in a shopping mall during the holidays, becomes evocative as the protagonist describes the mall as a grotesque insect queen littered with parasitic shoppers, a visual that wouldn’t seem out of place in a bizarre fantasy novel.

A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes
Lesbian - Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (September 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837368
ISBN-13: 978-1943837366
Amazon: A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes

Call it happily ever after or a perfect life, it's a universal destination we all hope to reach. Lily plays out the anxieties of her freshman year while standing in line. Lin, wanting only to be left alone, watches a stranger waiting on her porch. Denny flies tourists around an Alaska mountain, hoping to forget, while Alice embarks on an adventure to remember. Tate and Emily, friends since childhood, team up to play out the pirate games of their youth, only this time it's not a game. From North America's highest mountain to that quirky town at the end of the hook of Cape Cod and well past the stars beyond, Burnes explores the hopes and fears that drive us all. With eight previously published stories, and the all new "Auto Repair," A Perfect Life and Other Stories is the first collection by the author of Wishbone.

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