Allison, Todd. “Never Say Never Anthology”, Silver Publishing, 2011.
A Fiction Smorgasbord
“Never Say Never” is an anthology of stories that take place around Valentine’s Day. There are four stories here and each is well-written with interesting well-drawn characters.
B.G, Thomas wrote “A Secret Valentine” about Steve, a divorced man who has accepted his homosexuality and now wants to find happiness by finally being able to be who he really is. In the beginning he is not so lucky since he meets all of the wrong kind of people. However when he meets Bill, he thinks he has hit gold. Bill, however, wants nothing more than friendship. Since we have all been there, we tend to see what is going to happen but nevertheless the story is well written and the characters are strong.
Xavier Axelson’s “A Valentine for Evraim” is about Evraim who owns a chocolate store that is the best of its kind. He is very popular in town and not just because of his candy. Valentine’s Day is a holiday he really hates and so it will pass more quickly, he throws himself into his work.
I love this story as it shows us a new writer who is going to be very big. He gives us a wonderful character in Evraim and a story that is fresh.
“Stripped” by Shae Connor is about Jon who, being alone, decides that he will use his Valentine’s Day in a New York City strip club and he was doing fine until Blake came on stage and Jon goes a bit crazy—so much so that he buys a private dance. Blake is surprised when Jon doesn’t want him to dance but would rather talk. They end up spending a hot night together.
You cannot help but love the characters and the story is very well-written. It is interesting to “eavesdrop” on two men who come together for the first time.
“Valentine 2525” by RJ Scott is a science fiction approach to the holiday. Max never wanted to have a relationship but then he met Sam, a cloned human who by mistake has the human ability of emotion. Sam is well aware of this and decides to take his life before it is taken from him but Max has a different idea.
I have always been weary of science fiction—I just do not like it so I am a bit biased from the get go. As much as I wanted to like this story, my own bias would not let me. It is, nonetheless, well written and I am sure that some sci-fi buffs will pick this as their favorite story.
What I especially liked about this anthology is that is a small one. We usually think of anthologies as having many stories by several authors. That, we see here, is not necessary.