The Power of Six by Nick Rossis

This is an entertaining collection of 6 + 1 (= 7) short stories that is soon read and enjoyed. The stories for the most part are well-written, witty and perceptive. Well written: “I stood before one of the paintings, studying a stern-looking lady, grim enough to grant plausibility to Arak’s fears.” Witty: “Just what I needed, to be a chainsaw short of a splatter movie.” Perceptive: “The psychologist diagnosed me with depression, but I knew it was just a case of nothing mattering anymore.” The English was also correct in a manner after my own heart: “None of them was nuts.” Yay!

I found the first three and the last of the stories particularly strong. Story 5 – ‘A Fresh Start’ – needed to be longer, I felt. It tried to encapsulate a promisingly complicated scenario peopled by characters that the constraints of the ‘short story’ genre didn’t allow the author enough time to develop. I ask him to consider turning it into a novel. There is great potential in its storyline, and Mr Rossis is quite capable of lavishing the care and attention on it that would realise its potential fully in around 80,000 words.