Review of Speckled: A Collection of Short Stories

Scott William Taylor is one of the nicest people I know, and I consider him another of my author heroes. He introduced me to Xchyler Publishing, where I have had a wonderful experience working with editors to publish two of my own short stories. Scott’s natural aura of calm and words of encouragement have been very valuable to me as a growing author. I also know him to be a keenly observant, sensitive, and perceptive individual, one of those people who will take time to stop and smell the flowers, so to speak. It shows on his blog posts where he highlights everyday wonders that he finds in the world, as well as in his storytelling. I’m excited to take this opportunity to review his independent anthology of poetry and short stories.

Speckled: A Collection of Short Stories is filled with delightful gems that speak to the author’s skill as a rich character painter.

In short spaces, these characters deal with varied complex emotions and circumstances. Some are in a realistic fictional context while others exist in a highly altered reality. From a girl facing either foster care or a life with a father she’s never known, to private investigators collecting clues for peculiar cases, to bleak futures of indentured servitude and robotic rationing of household utilities, to a self-cloning steampunk robot. He articulates the emotions and plights of the characters so beautifully that I found it easy to connect with each of them and to think, “ah, I understand how this would feel!” While not all of the stories have a complete arc, peeling away the layers on the characters and their relationships to the point where Scott has chosen to let things taper off is immensely satisfying. It raises a myriad of possible journeys and outcomes worth pondering after the fact. Some stories pluck at cords of sadness endemic to the human condition while offering hope. Others are more light-hearted, humorous, and thoughtful.

This was a wonderful, enjoyable read. Well done, sir!

You can find Speckled: A Collection of Short Stories on Amazon in both Kindle format:
And in paperback: