A collection of five short stories by author Justin Schwartzenberger that explore technology and social media, dip into science fiction, and revisit the magic of youthful imagination.
Includes the following short stories:
Madison has perfected her developer conference travel routine and mastered the ability to work her passion, writing code, at any location and under any circumstance. But a last minute tweak to her developer tools before embarking off on another seemingly routine trip out of Silicon Valley kicks off a series of strange events that will put Madison’s problem solving and coding focus to the ultimate test...as the lives of everyone around her just might hinge upon each next line of code she types.
Beyond the Overgrowth
A man dips into his memory bank and reminisces about a magical journey he made as a child of the ‘80s. Feeling left out by his peers and eager to make the most of the weekend, the young boy summons up his passion for adventure and a bit of imagination to power through a boring science assignment about a plant. But when he fails to find the perfect shrub within his familiar search radius he must venture beyond borders to complete his assignment, a choice which he would come to spend a lifetime wishing he could make again.
A village on the outskirts of a war-torn territory clings to life. Operating an old mech with the help of a drone companion, a teenage girl spends each day searching for crop seeds in rotting fields and mangled hillsides. Growing tired of the monotony and pestered by a curiosity as to her purpose in life, the girl starts to question whether it is time for her to leave the village. But a mishap during a recent hunt for seeds might have just forced her hand by stirring up connections to her past and putting the safety of the village at risk.
It had been a rough year in eighth grade for Dale. There were dozens of moments of dejection and humiliation. But today might be the defining moment, the one that could lay the foundation for his four year journey through high school with his peers. Now that the moment is upon him, Dale knows what he wants to do. He’s just not sure he can do it.
Digital Riches and Analog Realities
A man whose been down on his luck for years receives a kind gesture from a young gentleman during a stormy day that results in a bit of social interaction, something he hasn’t done in quite some time. But the young gentleman takes an interest in the man’s past and the man finds himself alive in the moment as he shares his tale of a mysterious stranger arriving on the wings of a raging storm to send him on a digital treasure hunt that is still changing his life to this very day.
Note that all of these short stories are also available individually.