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on 4 March 2017
This collection of 6 + 1 (= 7) short stories 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.
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on 15 May 2014
The Power of Six amazed me. Being a sci-fi fan, I’ve read a multitude of short stories from the masters of the genre, like Philip K. Dick and Brian Aldiss and I was dumbfounded by the similarities in places. For example, “Simulation Over” might as well have been written by either of the aforementioned sci-fi geniuses! Nicholas Rossis engages the reader with unexpected twists and turns, life-like characters and endings that give you quite a jolt! It is hard to pick favorites as each story was unique and equally entertaining but I must say that I particularly enjoyed “The Sentry”. I found it utterly delightful and brilliant!

I’ve read the first two books of this author’s Pearseus series and so, I was confident that I’d picked up a book that was bound to demonstrate excellence of both thought and language. Yet, nothing could have prepared me for the originality and the surprise factor in some of these stories. My only grievance with the Power of Six is its size! I would have preferred it to be called The Power of 10 or even 20 - but maybe next time! I’m really looking forward to reading more of this genre from this author! Nicholas Rossis has truly excelled with this book and his talent for the particular genre just shines through.
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on 11 January 2016
I liked this book but not as much as the other book by this author infornet whaters. Do not get me wrong you should read it for your self. The stories are well totem and question what we believe reality. There even some unseen twists. In many ways this book is a twin to infer my whaters I just prefer that book to this one. Do not ask me why it is emotional elegiacally thing. This is just my option do not listen to me. By and read and form your own option I dear you.
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on 5 October 2014
This review was written by my Auntie Doris, some time after her death.

My Raymond’s brother Cyril always liked the Science Fiction stuff. He always had his ruddy head buried in an Isaac Asminov or Arthur C Clarke. He liked that Ray Bradbury as Well. Robots, rockets, computers, It all fascinated him. Probably because he worked with radios, valves and transistors, so he felt close to technology and that. Radios were pretty futuristic things in those days.
The thing is, he lives in a care home now, and has lost the ability to follow a good story. It will return to him. And
I would imagine that he would enjoy “The Power of Six” once he got into it. I will give him a copy when he gets to the other side. I can imagine him having a bit of a grumble at first. Like he used to grumble about Star Trek after they got rid of Captain Kirk and got that bald Yorkshireman. “They are always messing about on that hollow deck,” he would say, “its about time that they got down on a few planets and had one or two proper adventures,” But then, after a while, the imagination got to him, and he started to enjoy it. I dare say he became a little bit obsessed. What is it about men and ruddy “Star Trek?”
Any Road, the stories in “The Power of Six” are more about computerised simulations of reality than about adventures. But they are imaginative, entertaining, and thought provoking. Like me really. Well, they made me think anyway. How do we know what is real and and what isn’t? Thats a ruddy good question when you think about it. I’m not sure that I know the answer. I’m not even sure if I’m real. I used to be sure when I was alive. Now that I am dead, I can see that I wasn’t as ruddy clever as I thought I was. Nobody knows anything really. I suppose that reality depends on your perspective.
In some of the stories in the Power of Six, the characters believe that what is happening to them is real, but then they find out that it isn’t. Or they don’t realise that it isn’t, but you do whilst you are reading the story. Which is ruddy double funny, because you knew that it was a story when you started it, but you accepted the reality of the story world only to have old Nick Rossis turn it all inside out. It makes my ruddy head spin.
Even the poor old war veteran, who tells the people in the pub that he has actually fired a few ray guns in a real interplanetary war... is he telling a story, having a story told about him, having a story told about him telling a story or what? In the end there is a right old twist and you don’t know what on earth to believe. My Raymond’s brother Cyril would have like that. It would have made his ruddy head spin an’all.
Then there’s the one about having a personality totally different to your own taking over your body and giving you a totally different perspective on everything. My nephew Michael could tell you a thing or two about that. Its interesting though. Look around you, the next time that you are in a crowd. How many people are actually in control of themselves, and how many are being operated by dead relatives or glowing orbs? Or are they really there at all? Could it all be a computer stimulation?
If you like thinking thoughts like that, then you should definitely get your hands on a copy of “The power of six. Whilst you are reading it you can think them sort of thoughts to your hearts delight.
And there are a couple of bonus bits in it too. There’s a story about a universe creation game by one of Nicholas’s friends and a bit out of his Perseus trilogy. I would definitely recommend buying a copy.
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on 31 May 2014
I purchased this book from Amazon after discovering the writer via The Rave Reviews Book Club.

A great little collection of short stories, which cover a wide range such as sci - fi, time travel, to life through a puppy's eyes. Very engaging and entertaining. I like short stories for dipping in and out of when I'm short for time. This is an author I would read again, and I intend to take a look at his novel Pearseus fairly soon.

The structure of each short is good, and the characters well introduced. There are a few minor editing issues, but on the whole well proofread. I offer four out of five stars for The Power of Six.
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on 12 June 2014
I really enjoyed discovering this set of short science fiction stories. They are all individual little gems with an interesting leading character, a good plot and a twist in the ending. I am surprised how the author manages to achieve so much in so few pages!
Despite the brevity of the stories they are quite thought provoking and I read all of them in just a couple of hours. One really made me chuckle as well with its ending.
This is quality writing and I recommend this book to everyone, including those who perhaps don't normally read science fiction.
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on 26 July 2015
I literally couldn't put this book down. Each story captured me from the start and a few of them completely messed with my head (in a good way!). The stories had a way of drawing you in. You think you have the plot figured out but at the end you find out it is something completely different to what you thought - difficult to explain. You'll just have to read it to see what I mean.

I have no hesitation recommending this book. Fantastic work and well worth a read!
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on 24 October 2015
A reasonably good mini collection of short sci-fi stories where all is not quite as it seems. Some of the twists were easy to spot but enjoyable none the less. I think the time travel story had a lot of potential to be much longer (although the exponential increase in confusion for the reader may be a problem!)
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on 22 October 2016
This is another great collection of very well written short stories by Rossis that are written to both tantalise and entertain us.
Rossis loves to test our senses... particularly of what is real and what isn't. He's not afraid to venture into the unknown and drag us along with him. As with his Pearseus books, there are a lot of theories, and philosophies brought into question.

I couldn't make my mind up if I liked this as much as Honest Fibs or not... I think maybe my expectations from the title were raised a little. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but then I'm not completely sure what that was either. Oh well!
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on 7 August 2015
Unafraid to place questions of ethics and perception at the heart of the story, Rossis creates a collection that is more than weird aliens and heroic fights.

Several of the stories have a surprise ending: while I have attempted to avoid details, there might be accidental spoilers contained within.

The collection contains six short stories by Rossis; along with one by Amos M. Carpenter, selected for its complementary tone and themes.

‘Simulation Over’: after an earthquake damages an underground research base, a small group of survivors attempt to avoid both the horrors within and the stringent requirements of the base AI.

‘For the Last Time’: Still reeling from the arrival of his future self, a young man is horrified when a second future self appears and attacks the first.

‘The Hand of God’: In an interstellar conflict where the invaders are superior in both numbers and capabilities, one veteran earns free beer relating his tale of a victory that should have been impossible.

‘I Come in Peace’: Lonely and depressed, one man is offered the chance to both save someone’s life and never be alone again.

‘A Fresh Start’: Stumbling through a hole in reality, an engineer finds his way to a pre-industrial world where his knowledge gives him power and wealth beyond his wildest dreams.

‘The Sentry’: once a week the sacrifice taken by the great beast. But one inhabitant has had enough. This time the beast will die.

‘Big Bang’ by Amos M. Carpenter: hoping to prank his friends, a teenager trains his younger sister to play their favourite virtual reality computer game. But on the day her strategy is nothing like he planned.

While both Rossis and Carpenter display good characterisation and description, two threads define this collection: philosophical questions and twist endings.

Both the depth and extent of the questions differs between stories, but each has one of the big issues of philosophy at its core: what is reality? Is the future fixed? Is a long unexceptional life better than a brief but meaningful one? While Rossis is careful not to verge into preaching or concept-dropping, this does in places counteract the more emotive, action-adventure aspects of the stories, placing them into the spiritual equivalent of hard sci-fi.

Where Rossis’ clear interest in the thought-provoking might leave some readers feeling slightly disengaged, his liking for twist endings is likely to provoke a much stronger reaction. Although not all the stories have a sting in the tail, those that do often have a strong shift combined with only light foreshadowing. Therefore, readers who do not like the ending to be based on information they couldn’t have known might feel cheated.

As it is hard to properly discuss the how and why of surprise endings without rendering them ineffective, each potential reader will have to make their own estimation of whether they dislike unexpected enough to forego the entire collection for a few examples.

Overall, I enjoyed the collection; even with the reveal of the endings spent, I would read it again. I recommend it to readers who enjoy the more intellectual aspects of speculative fiction while not hating gotcha denouements.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for a fair review.
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