Pacific Grove Press Newspaper Review
edited: Tuesday, April 01, 2003
By Byron P. Merritt
Posted: Tuesday, April 01, 2003
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A local California newspaper reviews the Monterey Shorts anthology and gives a special nod to Byron Merritt...
SHORT BUT SWEET
by Dan Miller
Pacific Grove Press Newspaper
Monterey Shorts is a nicely done collection of short stories individually written by the ten members of a writing group called Fiction Writers of the Monterey Peninsula or FWOMP for short. The stories cover the gambit from romance to science fiction and everything in between. The problem with reviewing so many writers and so many stories is that justice can't be done to all of them in such a short space as this. So I will just pick out a few.
One of the most appealing stories, to my taste, is "Monte-Ray Gunn," written by Byron Merritt. The grandson of legendary science fiction writer Frank Herbert, Merritt is an emergency room nurse when he is not writing. This story is an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek ode to Sam Spade with a touch of Abbott and Costello. Amazingly creative characters and humorous dialogue that deftly jumps between genres, much to my entertainment. No matter what style of writing you enjoy, odds are you'll find it in this story.
Another standout is "Dot's Dat Visits Dinosaur Town," by Mike Tyrrel. This is a Will Wonka-type story that left me entertained and wanting more. It's a great story to read to a child for a bedtime story; they'll want to hear it again and again. As with the previously mentioned "Monte-Ray Gunn," this kind of story is one that left me wanting more.
"Borscht in the Bay," by Ken Jones is entertaining and creative, and as with all the stories in this collection it has nicely developed characters. The plus for this story and all the others is that they are all placed on the Monterey Peninsula. You will see many locations mentioned that you encounter in your daily life. It is often said "write what you know," and all the writers here have done that.
The other stories are well crafted. When I sat down to read this book, I was looking to be entertained. This book did that. While some of the writers have more style than others, they all have talent that even the casual reader will appreciate. Hopefully, this will be the first in a series from this group or will serve as a primer for other writers wondering how to get a group together to help as support during the long creative process.
FWOMP will have a booth at Good Old Days where their book will be available for purchase.