Book Review – A Stitch in Time
Senan Gil Senan is an author who I’ve reviewed twice before, namely his two-part (to date) highly acclaimed Outlander Sci-Fi series. In addition to his regular writing, Senan Gil Senan is a regular reviewer and valued contributor to the IASD fb writing group and its sister site at:
By Senan Gil Senan
At first glance at the cover, one could easily be forgiven for thinking this might be just another collection of Sci-Fi short stories. I would say a couple of the stories do fall into that category while others venture into the realms of horror and the paranormal. I loved the author’s style of writing for each one, three being written in the first person, a style I particularly enjoy when it comes to short stories, and the other three written in a style most suited to their content but still maintaining a very personal viewpoint. There are no clever explanations or theories about ‘time’ to be found here, but more the personal observations, perceptions, and experiences of it, all crafted into highly original tales, and while some stories were better than others, none failed to either intrigue or entertain. In those stories where a little ‘science’ added to the narrative such as in ‘The Fall and Rise of the El,’ the author struck a good balance between the sort of terminology that most sci-fi fans will recognise and have some understanding of and not over-explaining or confusing the reader.
I especially liked ‘Clocks Slay Time’ which for me, perfectly epitomised the title and description for this anthology. Another story that stood out, in my opinion, was ‘Hello Friend,’ a clever and imaginative set of scenarios all woven together by a frightening glimpse into the possibly intrusive path that social media and artificial intelligence might take, and sooner likely than we imagine. A couple of the stories, while captivating almost throughout, were I thought slightly let down by an unsatisfactory or less than conclusive ending; I accept that for some readers, being left with unanswered questions or puzzling for themselves what the ending of a story meant might add to its enjoyment but for me personally they didn’t quite work, and it’s for that reason alone it wasn’t quite as convincing a five star read as the author’s previous Outlander series (more a four-point-eight).
I’m not sure if fans of more traditional sci-fi will immediately take to this collection but for those whose interests extend beyond that of robots, outer-space, and alien invasions then I think it might well appeal. Despite a couple of minor misgivings, the style of writing, its originality, and the imaginative and well-written storylines lines would certainly induce me to read more of the author’s future short story offerings.
More about the author …
Senan Gil Senan believes that it is the job of a writer to visually transport a reader to a place he or she is unlikely to venture. Then without alienating them, it is to introduce them to a pattern of thought that may differ from their own.
His writing is not typical of the science fiction and dystopian genres. It is more visionary, in that it examines the effect of technology and bio-engineering on future society. He is an adamant believer that humans will integrate more and more with technology in order to keep up with the deluge of technological advances created by the advent of artificial intelligence. He believes that this emergent sentience will be shaped by human interaction, much the same as a child.
…….His own interests include psychology, noetic science, physics, theology & philosophy and ancient history. He agrees with RR Martin who said that any writer who is looking for an intriguing character, a gripping scenario or plot twist, needs to look no further than the pages of a history book.
He was named Senan, by his father Patrick Gilsenan who thought that the name would look good on the cover of a book. He was an Irish printer who yearned to see his own prose and poetry appear in print. Sadly he died before achieving either ambition. Senan left behind the beauty of Sligo in Ireland to set off for London and oblique strategy of career choices. These included working fourteen years as a computer systems engineer. He has also worked as a self-employed financial trader, a writer, an employment adviser, and as a bar manager. He still lives in South London with his wife and family.
In addition to the above, Senan Gil Senan also writes under the name Angus Cactus , a pen name he uses to differentiate his comedy writing from that of his other literary projects.
To Hell or Sligo by Aangus Cactus ~ Amazon