• Publisher: Loyola College/Apprentice House (February 9, 2021)
• Paperback: 115 pages
“Exploring the possibility of sentient knowledge, FALLING FROM TREES by Mike Fiorito is a unique collection of short stories with sci-fi undertones. Perfectly pitched and paced, they are a refreshing addition to the short story genre in the tradition of Italo Calvino, Stanislaw Lem, and Philip K. Dick. Fiorito’s stories grab the reader from the very first sentence and never let go. In clear, provocative and often poetic prose, they explore love, consciousness, identity and the human condition—and succeed in elevating the commonplace to the surreal. Fiorito invites us to interrogate our thinking. “These are not cynical tales,” he writes in the book’s preface. “In fact, they celebrate our potential salvation.”
Heartfelt, with longing and humor, Fiorito’s stories are written in short bursts of other-worldly auras as they knowingly vacillate between science fiction, speculative and literary genres. A few of the stories portray quasi-realistic scenes from the lives of couples and families. Others create worlds that are strange and sad, hopeful and poignant, brilliant and mysterious.
In “Climbing Time,” the first story in FALLING FROM TREES, aliens reach out to individuals with Asperger’s, communicating through vivid, wordless dreams. Other stories contemplate the disastrous impact of climate change. The interconnected “Pale Leviathan” and “Tomorrow’s Ghost” depict the ferocity of the sun invading homes cooled with “freezing air units” and the claustrophobia of a world where children are forced to stay indoors. “The Numbers Man,” “A Star in Time,” and other interconnected stories follow the enigmatic alien Smith through believable yet mysterious encounters with humans in a homeless encampment, a National Park, a beach town and a bar.”
I liked this collection of short stories that were science fiction, alternative reality based. I didn’t always feel the connection between the stories, but I did enjoy reading them. There are 21 stories and 115 pages so you can see how short they really are. Some of them I loved and some of the really brief ones left me wanting a few more lines for closure. I loved the author’s poetic way with words and the beautiful worlds he created in his stories. This was a great way to spend an hour or two and I love the cover!
Thanks for having me TLC Book Tours and for a copy of the book!