Reviews & Comments

(These are excerpts from reviews of my individual stories, as they have appeared in various zines and anthologies. For a summary of reviews of Rare Unsigned Copy, please go here. For reviews of the novella double Flight 404 / The Hunt for Red Leicester, please go here.)

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Simon Petrie’s “Murder on the Zenith Express” is a detective story, a science fiction story, and a totally fun read.  Financier Neil B. Formey has been murdered aboard the elevator hotel known as Skyward Suites 207.  Now it’s up to Gordon Mamon, “lift operator, first aid officer, complaints officer, janitor, dishwasher, room service, security officer and house detective,” to find out who killed Formey—before they kill him next.

While supposedly a serious detective story, this piece has way too much fun to take itself seriously.  From its delightful opening line (“Gordon Mamon was the lift operator in a hotel that didn’t have a lift”) to its wonderfully satisfying ending, this story managed to perfectly blend hardcore detective fiction with humor and science fiction.  Well worth the read.

Tangent Online short fiction review of ASIM #29 (Keesa Renee DuPre)

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Hare Redux” by Simon Petrie is a humorous retelling of Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The Hare, ashamed of letting the Tortoise best him, demands a rematch, but the Tortoise is unwilling at first. Finally, a new race is scheduled with a few other contestants, consisting of talking animals and self-motivated toys—a true media event with camera crews and a TV broadcast. What makes this story, of course, is Petrie’s whimsical style. I won’t tell you who wins the race, but it’s not who you think. And the winner does reestablish the theme of the fable that “All any of us can do is our best.” How true.

Tangent Online short fiction review of ASIM #30 (Marshall Payne)

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Speaking of lighthearted stories, the series of super flash fiction pieces—“Six Subliminals”—by Simon Petrie are cute and humorous snippets of fun. Like most microflash, the setup and punch line are either clever twists on familiar tropes or old puns given new spice. Since I’m partial to puns, my favorite was “Double Agent” with “Here Be…” a close second (even though I did have to Google the dang Dugong!).

The Fix review of ASIM #33 (Lyndon Perry)

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Simon Petrie’s “Six Subliminals” (#33) is a very amusing set of six very brief pieces.

‘The Elephant Forgets’ blog end-of-year summary of ASIM  (‘Ecbatan’ / Rich Horton)

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Simon Petrie’s “M. R. E.” is an amusing mordant piece about aliens who abduct humans for food, and about the attempt of a young man to rescue his girlfriend from them.

SF Site review of Jupiter 22 (Rich Horton)

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Über-Professor Schlurpmftxpftpfl is a tentacled alien with a taste for human flesh and Vic is an earthling computer nerd whose girlfriend has been abducted. ‘M. R. E.‘ by Simon Petrie is an absolute hoot, a very easy to read and amusing story. Somewhat reminiscent of ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’, the antics of both the alien and the boy make for an enjoyable story, my favourite of the issue. Your burger in a bun will never be the same again!

SF Crowsnest review of Jupiter 22 (Rod MacDonald)

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We go from a nice little ghost story to a nice little murder mystery in “Single Handed” by Simon Petrie. Gordon Mamon is called on to solve a murder aboard a spaceship called the Dart of Harkness. The ship’s captain, Kurtz, has been found stabbed and covered in blood by the ship’s chief engineer, Rusty Flange. Only two other people were awake on the ship, the others all in cryogenic sleep. They are members of the Church of the Blessed Echidna, getting ready for a long trip to a distant planet they are colonizing. The other two suspects are the medical officer, Sister Edie McPhalia and the communications officer “Skip” Gramacek. The ship’s computer is named Cassandra but won’t help Gordon much because of an odd interpretation of Asimov’s First Law. Petrie has a lot of fun with names and puts together a pretty good story.

SFRevu review of Kaleidotrope 6 (Sam Tomaino)

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Simon Petrie’s “Single Handed” is a murder mystery about a strange cult heading to another planet, until the ship’s captain is killed. The whole setup is a bit implausible — but that’s part of the flavor of this sort of story, and it leads to a satisfyingly clever resolution.

Locus review of Kaleidotrope 6 (Rich Horton)

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Single Handed” by Simon Petrie is a conventional murder mystery in space that revolves around an AI that has problems following Asimov’s three laws and an innovative murder weapon that could have easily been published in Analog.

Tangent review of Kaleidotrope 6 (Bob Blough)

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I liked Simon Petrie’s “Downdraft,” set on a planet with intelligent zeppelins and flying human-like people. The story is about a young flyer’s ill-advised attacks on one of the zeppelins — a story really about misunderstanding, with no bad guys.

Locus review of Sybil’s Garage 6 (Rich Horton)

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The last prose story is really a “play, in Several Unspeakable Acts”. The “Postosuchus kirkpatricki” in the story is a reincarnated “ambush predator” from a prehistoric age, who is now Mr. Gregory Q. Whimple, “a Mild-Mannered Complaints Officer” with a business that sells electronics and household appliances. Things get quite amusing when his previous life starts affecting his current one. This one was a real hoot.

SFRevu review of Murky Depths 9 (Sam Tomaino)

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In “The Speed of Heavy” by Simon Petrie, Captain Shelby Wright must cope with what looks like a bad contract that his exchange student assistant has made with a company on Vesta. They have to transport 20 bats from Vesta to Eros in one hundred days. He doesn’t think it can be done. He runs into even more problems in this solidly written nice little story.

SFRevu review of Kaleidotrope 8 (Sam Tomaino)

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Simon Petrie’s “Hatchway” is a nail-biting thriller about gang hazing and revenge in the harsh environment of Titan, one of Saturn’s satellites.

Cosmos review of Anywhere But Earth (Rivka Rafael)

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