The Future Unfolds
Review by Jyllian Roach
When I started to read 25 Perfect Days, I didn’t expect much. The collection of interconnected short stories was authored by a former MMA fighter, Mark Tullius, and uses the very common sci-fi dystopian plotline.
I was so wrong.
From the first story, Tullius’ fictional future sucked me in and kept me reading. Each of the 25 short tales unfolds a vision of the future based on modern concerns taken to their illogical extremes.
Tullius’ writing is detailed and engaging. He takes care not to insult his readers’ intelligence. New terms and concepts are revealed through the dialogue and actions of the characters, not by stopping the story and explaining things.
Then there’s the death penalty. The first story, “Five Minutes Alone,” focuses on a family who, like all victims of a crime, are given five minutes alone with their attackers and an assortment of weapons. It’s a chilling and well-written tale—and you can sample it for free (pdf link) or watch a video of the author reading it out loud.
Another story, titled “Fifteen,” is a great read, but would have been better left out and maybe included in a different book. The characters connect vaguely to the overall plot and other characters, but it also includes a character, Ian, who deserved more of a backstory than he received.
These minor problems are just that though: minor. It is worth a read regardless, and when I have time for leisure reading, I plan to read it again.
The 25 Perfect Days will be released in ebook format on July 2, 2013 for $2.99. If you’d prefer an officially-released hard copy, you’ll have to wait until September.
Jyllian is the former editor of the CNM Chronicle and a freelance reporter. Follow her on Twitter: @Jyllian_R.
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