Alien Dimensions #9, edited by Neil A. Hogan (2017) – This anthology is short and sweet. At barely 76 pages, it covers a broad range of clever science fiction short stories. Whether you’re into sentient forests or the real extraterrestrial reason behind having an orange ape in the White House, this collection might be for you.
“Wandering Woods” by Gustavo Bondoni – Intriguing tale of a planet completely overrun by electronic trash and the sole sentient forest that asks for terraforming help before it’s too late. Fighting arsenic and mercury, the ancient trees are strangely complacent, sure the humans will find a way to save them.
“The Missionary” by Nicky Martin – A dark tale about addiction, religion, and war. Follow a hapless addict as he’s “saved” by a holy battle ship and indoctrinated into destroying peaceful civilizations in the name of spreading the word.
“The Plan” by Sam Honour – This humorous story explains how Earth’s evolution has been controlled by two half-wit aliens who have one bad idea after another. They first tried to create a lizard army to destroy their enemies but an asteroid eliminated all the dinosaurs. Deciding that the little mammals are their only hope, they seed the atmosphere with an evolutionary chain reaction. Unfortunately, they misread the instructions and covered Earth with three times the dosage. When they return a million years later, the duo discovers the apes have taken over. A large orange ape in the White House seems to be trying to destroy all living creatures on the planet, so the two aliens decide to write it off as a bad effort. Maybe a quarantine sign?
“Still in Beta” by Neil A. Hogan – A scary tale of a man experimenting on himself to adjust his brainwaves for an app he’s designing. He goes through Beta, Alpha, Delta, and Gamma with no problems. However, Hypergamma and Hyperepsilon take him to new dimensions unknown by the human brain, turning him transparent and enabling him to see an alien scout. The alien welcomes him as the first human to reach a higher state of consciousness, one whose app will pull the entire human race into an extra-dimensional battle of love against negative energy. Understandably, the scientist isn’t so sure he wants to subject Earth to an eternal mind war.
“Tiara and the Comet Apocalypse, Part 2” by Neil A. Hogan – Hard to come into a story in the middle, but this seems a rousing space opera of three ships merged together during an interstellar jump.