Review: Stardust (A Futuristic Romance Collection) by Various Authors

Title: Stardust: A Futuristic Romance Collection
Authors: Rene Folsom, Michael Loring, Bart Hopkins, M.L. Ryan, Katheryn Van Pelt, Magen McMinimy, Eaton Thomas Palmer, Stephanie Summers , Tara Moeller, Carrie Avery Moriarty
Editor: Cynthia Shepp
Publication Date: May 25th, 2014
Publisher: Indie Style Press
Genre: Futuristic Romance
Pages: 315
Source: eBook from Editor

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
Welcome to a world where space travel by the common man is as normal as getting on a plane, life has been discovered on other planets, humans travel light-years to find their soul mates, technology exists along the lines that we have only imagined, and a passport will take you anywhere. 

Stardust… where love has no boundaries and worlds are just waiting to be discovered. 

Ten different authors. Ten tales of fantastical love. Ten different ways to discover the stars.

A | Gr

“I am intrigued by the notion that love was once a choice. The adventure of falling in love, finding your soul mate amongst billions of people around the Earth, seems so much more realistic than being told who you’re meant to be with for eternity. I feel like I would much rather go through loss and heartache in order to find my true match, instead of being told by a stupid internal timer when my soul will finally be complete.”
* * *

“Are you nervous?” Mrs. Nelson asked Isaac as they waited in traffic on the way to the doctor’s.
They perfected space travel and colonizing other planets, but they hadn’t fixed traffic jams yet, Isaac thought sourly, staring at the rear bumper of the same car for twenty minutes.
“I don’t get nervous,” Isaac said, gripping the steering wheel tighter than he should have.
“Sure,” she snorted. “That’s why I heard you pacing in your room last night.”
Isaac blushed. He knew he should have just plugged himself in and gone to sleep. He had been thinking about today’s appointment all night and morning, and his charge was a bit low, making it harder to reel in his emotions.
“I’m sorry.” Isaac sighed.
“Don’t be,” Mrs. Nelson said, adjusting her position in her seat. “Competition is coming.”
* * *

World Wide Gone: Bart Hopkins
“I don’t know. I think I might actually want to go—” she began, and then chewed on her lip. She hadn’t meant to say it. Not yet, even though she had been thinking it. She realized that, without the Internet, social media, and all the ways she usually connected with people, her life had completely changed. There was a giant void that was previously filled with virtual relationships. She actually had to call friends or meet them in person, and even then, their conversations only led back to The Lottery and the damned Internet. Or lack thereof.
She tried to get a read on Si’s expression, but it was tough. He kept a very straight face.
 “What about you?”
He thought about it for only a second. “I want to be wherever you are, K.”
* * *

Life Companion: M.L. Ryan
“Cole,” she sighed, with a hint of exasperation. “His name is Cole. And I never said I wasn’t attracted to him; he’s the handsomest man I’ve ever seen, and I love him. I’m just not in love with him. And before you say what I’m sure is running through your mind, let me assure you, I paid for a life companion whom I would love. Great sex is easy to find, and I’ve had lots of lovers. But finding someone who makes your heart smile every time you think of him and your pulse rate dance with a mere touch, that’s much more difficult.”
* * *

Born Ready: Katheryn Van Pelt
An idea came to Alex, and she crossed her arms over her chest again. “I have a deal for you. I’ll tell you more, anything you want to know, if you let me go with you guys,” she said, watching his reaction. Dagon seemed to think about her offer, observing her closely. Please say yes, please say yes, she thought.
* * *

Show Me: Magen McMinimy
This is home, Kayla thought silently. This ship, with its metallic floors, silver ceilings, and glass walls. The stars were her world, they were her peace, and soon they’d be lost to her.
* * *

New Eden: Eaton Thomas Palmer
She was composing a letter to the magistrate when a knock at the door startled her. “Oh thank God,” she thought, “he’s home and safe. I’ll kill him for what he’s put me through.”
* * *

Love Forgotten: Stephanie Summers
“Have you been with people you didn’t love?”
He laughed and turned to face me. “Yes. Absolutely, yes.”
“How did you know the difference? If you liked someone enough to spend time with them, how do you know it wasn’t love?”
“Love and lust are two very different things that are easily confused. I’ve had so many friends swear they were in love when they were really just having a good time. Love burns while lust… just burns out.”
* * *

What Happens on Destiny 2…: Tara Moeller
“Ugh, Mom.” Gretchen turned away from the near-naked form of her mother, her artificially pert curves evident under the flowing fabric. “Can’t you wait until the miners get up here to wear that stuff?”
“I don’t know why you mind so much. You have the exact same equipment.”
Gretchen snorted. “Same equipment…I just use mine a little differently.”
“From what I’ve heard, you don’t use yours at all.”
* * *

Brandy: Carrie Avery Moriarty
As Brandy returned with another load of empty glasses, the bartender suggested, “You should try to get a job at one of the spas on the surface. You’d still be the token human, but you would make more money.”

“I can’t,” Brandy replied, taking the empty tray again. “He’d never find me if I left.”
Stardust is the product of a contest that materialized on Cynthia Shepp's blog. It is a compilation of short stories by 10 different authors given the probe to write a futuristic romance. I can honestly say that each and every one of these authors has deserved their spot in this project.

Each story in Stardust is disconnected. None of them are meant to go together. However, this does not seem to be a problem as each story has a beginning, middle, and an end. Actually, most of them end on a cliff hanger that could possibly drive you mad because you're wanting more, and you know that simply won't happen. Ugh. But they were just that good.

I'd probably have to say the Zero got me the most. It's the perfect start to the collection and will leave you wanting more. You will probably have to take a moment to make the transition between that one and the rest. However, they were all really good and if you're a fan of sic-fi and romance in one, then this will be the perfect book for you. Especially if you like a bit of spice to your romance.

I liked that this was a unique project that was basically a result of a writing prompt given by Cynthia Shepp. There are so many talented writers out there and I truly wish them the best at what they do, and I definitely hand them my respect for trying.

Great anthology for sci-fi and romance lovers alike.

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