UFOs and God
by Michael R. Lane
Bare Bones Press

"I was actually doing well until I heard her voice and all that changed. She resurrected the void in my life. I hated her for that, her and Alexander Graham Bell."

The stories range from a couple of pages to over thirty. They begin with two boys tossing pebbles and making wishes into a well, and they end with a writer awaiting the return of his wife while he contemplates the lives and scenery surrounding him. In between, we have World War II soldiers, a devout believer in UFOs, a man deciding whether to live or die, and many others creating a varied spectrum of characters and settings allowing the reader to slip from one world to the next. The stories themselves are not centered around a single idea or place, but are rather like a patchwork, a blend of time and people scattered across the pages like colored pieces of fabric. But while seemingly unrelated, Lane connects the patches, the times, and the people through his voice, which seems to speak with both tenderness and distance like one who has been telling stories all his life. Linking the stories further are the characters themselves. While varied and unique from one another, they are united by the frailty yet strength of their humanity.

Lane is a seasoned writer, and his skills are on display in UFOs and God. He spent the majority of his life reading and writing literature, and it shows in these stories. Each is meticulously crafted, beginning smack dab in the middle, tossing the reader into the fire with his characters. The dialogue is sharp, but not overworked and reads with authenticity. His descriptions too read polished but not contrived. It is in his final story, "Writer in the Attic," where we are allowed to see the writer at work, not necessarily Lane himself, but all writers whose eyes are never just watching the world around them, but instead are always busy working, crafting stories from the fodder.

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