Tag Archives: Joe Vasicek

The Best of Intentions: A Review of Abductors

Book cover for Abductors by Joe Vasicek. Image on cover shows a flying saucer flying in the evening sky above a rocky landscape. Title: Abductors

Author: Joe Vasicek

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Genres: Science Fiction

Length: 16 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars


Ever wonder what an alien abduction looks like from the aliens’ point of view?

The human was never supposed to see the space ship, let alone be brought on board. But when the crew’s bumbling incompetence gets the human caught up in the engines’ back-blast, and no one knows how to revive him, the ship’s engineer has to take matters into his own… appendages.

Includes a bonus story written with ChatGPT!


Content Warning: an alien abduction and a rectal probing (for medical reasons).

Too much curiosity can be dangerous.

The dialogue was pretty funny. None of the characters were expecting a human to be around when they turned on their spaceship, much less to become accidentally injured when the engine fired up. Their panic was totally understandable, and their wildly different ideas about how to treat the injuries were as touching as they were amusing. They only had a limited amount of time to make a difference, so every single moment counted as they quickly flipped through their options and picked what they thought would be the most helpful one.

There was so much more the author could have done with this premise. I found myself wishing he had dove more deeply into the alien crew, their relationships with each other, and why they were studying a species that they seemed to be so disgusted by. This could have easily been a novella at least, and it would have been stronger for it given how much information Mr. Vasicek had to lightly touch on or skip over until order to get to his punchline. If he ever decides to expand on this universe, I’d be excited to read more about it.

Some of the best scenes in my opinion were the ones that explored the vast cultural and physiological differences between humans and aliens. Of course it would be almost impossible to take care of a creature who physiology is wildly different from yours and who has no idea what you’re trying to do to him. It reminded me of how hard it can be to convince a pet like a cat, dog, or rabbit to take medication when they’re ill, but multiply that by a thousand and erase every ounce of information you have about how this other creature’s body works, which parts of their anatomy are sensitive, and how they might react to standard medical treatments.

I did not enjoy the bonus story that was included about a man who met a stranger in a dream and was convinced she was a real person from somewhere. It felt dry to me, and I struggled to connect with the characters. I hope that Mr. Vasicek will not continue to play around with ChatGPT or other artificial means of creating stories in the future. He has plenty of his own talent to put to use!

Abductors was a humorous take on the subject of alien abductions.


Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy

Whimsical Winter: A Review of Memoirs of a Snowflake

Book cover for Memoirs of a Snowflake by Joe Vasicek. The cover is a pretty light purple colour, and it has four large snowflakes, four medium sized snowflakes, and dozens of tiny little snowflakes falling down on what I presume is a night sky on it. It gives the feeling of standing outside and feeling the snow fall onto your face and hands during an early morning or sunset snowstorm. Title: Memoirs of a Snowflake

Author: Joe Vasicek

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: March 22, 2011

Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary

Length: 9 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 4 Stars


The life and times of a December snowflake.

Every death is a rebirth. Every end is a new beginning. Though I do not know what awaits me as I leave my cloud-mother, I am not afraid.


Snowflakes have feelings, too!

This was such a creative take on sentient snowflakes and what might really go on in a snowstorm if it were comprised of millions of individuals who all have strong feelings about where they end up as they fall from the clouds above. I found myself smiling and nodding along as I followed the main character’s journey from their cloud-mother to their destination on the land below. There’s not much else I can say without giving away spoilers, but I enjoyed the plot twist once it arrived.

I found myself wishing that a bit more time had been spent explaining snowflake society. For example, do snowflakes get to be reborn as water droplets during the warm months of the year? How are they born already knowing so much about their short lives and what awaits them once they melt? A few more pages of exposition would have convinced me to go for a full five-star rating as I loved everything else about this tale.

The metaphysical portions of the plot played a big role in making this such an unforgettable read. The cycle of life and death and how we should all respond to it weren’t topics I would expect a snowflake in the fantasy genre to think about, much less use to guide them during their brief life. The juxtaposition of xenofiction and philosophy here was delightful, and it has encouraged me to keep an eye out for more of Mr. Vasicek’s work in the future.

Be sure to read the author’s notes about how he came up with the idea for this story as well. They were included after the final scene and provided yet another layer of meaning to the plot.

Memoirs of a Snowflake was a peaceful metaphysical adventure.


Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy