Fantasy author Geoff Habiger has been on my reading radar ever since I first met him at the Albuquerque Comic Con several years ago. His writing style is quite unique within his genre, often pulling inspiration from unusual sources to create hybrid fiction (his Saul Imbierowicz historical vampire series being a great example). His stories always create new and interesting worlds that I never thought to imagine. So whenever he drops something new, I know that I’m in for a potpourri adventure.
Not long ago, Habiger released a short story bundle that includes Pirate Ball and Brush Strokes. What’s that? Two stories from a talented author for 99 schmeckles? To quote the incomparable Philip J. Fry, “Shut up and take my money!”
Pirate Ball tells the story of a small town that tries to save itself from a band of wheat pirates by playing a game of baseball. (I’ll pause while you re-read that sentence.) It’s a hysterical premise that tees up an equally hysterical tale. Habiger channels all the great pirate tropes and infuses them with the manic energy of Tommy Lasorda. You can tell right away that the author is a fan of both subjects, which play together surprisingly well.
On the other end of the spectrum is Brush Strokes. This is a much more somber tale about a disgruntled artist with the mysterious ability to capture his subjects in hyper-realness, leaving them in states of utter captivation. His wife, on the other hand, does not appreciate his talents and constantly belittles him. He seeks a reprieve, but his options are limited. There’s not much else I can say without spoiling the reveal, so I will leave it there.
Once again, Habiger has shown his impressive range through these two divergent stories. Pirate Ball will tickle your funny bone, then Brush Strokes will freeze it solid. This bundle has something for everyone, so I highly recommend picking it up. And if you haven’t read any of Habiger’s books, use these tales as a launching point to grander adventures.
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