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Contents Copyright by Bruce Durham unless noted otherwise
In a market seemingly flooded with collections geared to fantasy, it is always a delight to discover one that isn’t. That said, 10th Orbit and Other Faraway Places is a wonderful compilation of 22 science fiction stories by rising author Gustavo Bondoni.

These are tales of soft science fiction, provocative stories based on the nature of relationships and our place in the universe, deftly crafted by a writer possessed with a remarkably fertile imagination.

Bondoni writes of desperate mothers, reluctant captains, wistful robots, sentient creatures and assorted aliens, all in a fresh, fast-paced, easy-going style that captures your attention, making the book a page-turner that is hard to put down.

If I had any criticisms, it was I found several stories suffered from weak endings. Instead of a profound payoff, these few stories sputtered to unsatisfying conclusions. Given Bondoni’s imagination and talent, I was a bit surprised and disappointed. However, these disappointments are few, and don’t detract from the overall excellence of the collection.

One other nit I had concerned the typos that made it into the book. This appears common with some small press publications, which in my view is unacceptable, as it reflects on both author and publisher. Seeing as this book is available as a print-on-demand title, there is no reason these errors cannot be corrected for future copies, and should be.

While it is hard to pick favorites from so many strong stories, I have listed some that stood out:

Twilight – The opening story. This is a refreshing take on the ancient civilization versus young civilization theme. In this case, the ancient civilization is Earth. The young civilization is an alien race that visits out planet and makes a shocking discovery. This is one story I would love to see expanded into a novel.

Pride and Joy – A touching story about a mother searching for her son, the product of a super-soldier experiment during a futuristic civil war.

Book Review
10th Orbit & Other Faraway Places
Gustavo Bondoni