“Promise collects Christi Nogle’s best futuristic stories ranging from plausible tech-based science fiction to science fantasy stories about aliens in our chameleonic foils hover in the skies, you can order a headset to speak and dream with your dog, and your devices sometimes connect not just to the web but to the underworld. These tales will recall the stories of Ray Bradbury, television programs such as Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone , and novels such as Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin or Under the Skin by Michel Faber. They are often strange and dreadful but veer towards themes of hope, potential, promise”
Welcome to “Promise.” The latest collection from genre luminary Christi Nogle, and a unique blend of speculative fiction stories that run the gamut from horror to science fiction. Each story contained within “Promise” has an average count of ten pages, and each delivers so much within the pagecount. Nogle writes like a poet. Each word is well-chosen and positively full of emotion and passion. Longing and darkness permeate her stories and “Promise” is a terrifically curated collection.
The touching, yet unnerving “Finishers” showcases some of Nogle’s finest writing. A mother and daughter craft robotic bodies while dreaming of an escape from a mundane existence. A bizarre premise that is grounded by the prose and characterization. At its core, this is a story of family love and difficulty and captures personal tension like a dragonfly in amber.
Parental relations are not the only ones explored throughout “Promise.” Nogle shows herself adept at taking apart romantic entanglements, such as “”A Game Like They Play in the Future” where a woman encounters a potential partner through an addictive game of reality, but the circumstances are far more than they appear. One of the finest of the collection, dealing with the dangers of blending reality and fiction and who you approach.told through Nogle’s rich prose.
“Flexible Off-Time” is a tale of a woman who serves as caretaker to her ailing father who desires to attend a writer’s retreat. Showcased through the frustrated eyes of a caregiver, Nogle shows the dream of every writer: more time to write. But in typical Nogle fashion, she shows how the wish can be twisted to horror while her prose causes the reader to second guess what they experience.
Taking well-worn and innovative tropes in turn, Nogle spins inventive and immersive yarns. If “Promise” is the name, then Nogle well lives up to the concept in this knockout collection.