Two slackers (the book’s narrator and his friend, Ollie), who hate their jobs, fantasize about either being killed in a mass shooting or holding the guns themselves and wiping out their entire office. Anything would be better than another day of tedious data entry! The two become roommates and their fantasies accelerate. But Ollie has a theory – a theory about existence itself. He posits that there are days that aren’t like other days – days when everything is just a wee bit off – days when what you do doesn’t matter because that 24 hours isn’t real. The book’s narrator is skeptical and thinks that maybe Ollie is off his rocker. But Ollie stages a dramatic act to convince his friend that he’s really onto something – that what he calls “Tidal Reality” actually exists. Now on board with the theory, the narrator and Ollie decide to take advantage of these special days, acting out some of their worst fantasies.
Soft Targets is not for the faint of heart. There are scenes of violence that this reader chose to skip over. But that’s not to say that this novella isn’t worth the read. No, the author’s examination of the psychology these two characters is definitely worth your time. The book is also quite a page-turner and I tore through it late at night, unable to put it down.
Soft Targets is a compelling novella and is highly recommended for lovers of time travel, horror, and science fiction. Of note is that, while Soft Targets depicts gun violence to the extreme, a portion of the proceeds from the novella are being donated by the author and publisher to Sandy Hook Promise.
I want to thank the publisher, Tenebrous Press, for providing me with a free copy of this book as a voting member of the Horror Writers Association in consideration for a Bram Stoker Award.