The Cone
By Kenneth Burstall

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Angie

The Cone – a US marine transformed into a housefly made of coral must negotiate the difficult politics of a world at right angles to ours.

Disguise the Secret – a young woman disfigured by magic must save her world from the encroaching ice.

Clearance Sale – as stores and businesses everywhere go bust a strange and sinister company finds a way to profit.


This was a book of three short stories. I’ve reviewed them separately:

The Cone

I’m not even sure what this story was about. It’s only 36 pages long and it took me 3 days to read it. I couldn’t stay with it long enough to finish it. There was no character development, the vocabulary was highly technical, and the “plot” was so convoluted I’m not sure what happened. If it wasn’t for the explanation I read in the description the author sent I would have had NO IDEA the lead character was a housefly (MADE OF CORAL?! Seriously??)

The best I can figure is that The Cone is an alternate universe that exists in the ocean and the ‘people’ are insects made of coral. The main character is a former Marine that is trying to over take the enemy by buying illegal arms.

Disguise the Secret:

This was actually not a bad short story. A young girl defies the rules and instead of being able to get away with it, the evidence is burned into her forehead for all to see. She has to go make amends and ask forgiveness.

Clearance Sale:

This was a bizarre story about greed and consumer stupidity. It was insulting and too far-fetched to even relate to. It read like a middle school essay in parts where timeline seemed to be irrelevant. There was no way to get into the story.

I honestly did not enjoy this story and the fact that I’ve not been able to find one other review of it leads me believe I’m not alone.