PLEASE NOTE: There will be a brief review of both stories individually, and then a review of them together as part of a series.
The Quantum Brain
What’s it about? A very smart man is planning to do a very bad thing at a time when the Earth is getting pounded by a gravity wave. He’s got an infallible plan, but…so does IT.
What did I think of it? The premise was fun. The descriptions were good. In just a few pages, John Freitas managed to bring a character to life that I really, really detested. So, yeah, the ending was surprisingly satisfying, but overall it felt almost too short. Not having any of the background that I’m assuming is explained in Pulse #1, it felt like it wasn’t quite capable of standing 100% alone.
Oh, Hell No!
Descendants of modern humans travel back in time to try to prevent an infestation that has almost destroyed them all.
What did I think of it? Whereas the Quantum Brain was mildly interesting, in a fire-and-forget sort of way, Oh Hell No was much better, and actually provoked a physical response of disgust early on from me due to the author’s descriptions of something the main character is dealing with. As with QB, the premise is interesting, the descriptions are good, and he swiftly creates characters that come alive in your head.
John Freitas definitely has talent.He is, though, not doing himself any favors by putting the Pulse series out in short story serial form, especially as Pulse #2 (The Quantum Brain) isn’t nearly as good as Pulse #3 (Oh Hell No). If he had not sent me both stories at the same time, I would not have sought out the third one in his series. However, Oh Hell No is very good, very interesting, and one I would want to read more about. Very interesting take on the little grey men. So, as much as collections in general tend to not perform well for me, I think it would be best all gathered into one book.
The true rating here would honestly be a 3.5, but as I only rate in ‘wholes’, I felt 3 was a better fit for an overall rating than a 4.