A Stranger Shade

“My two favourite stories, however, were the bonkers ‘Motorhead On The Orient Express’ by Gavin G Smith, and Vaughan Stanger’s ‘A Stranger Shade’ (Steve Strange), both of which fully encapsulated a nostalgic yet relevant feel for their respective subject matter, with the latter story especially hitting the right emotional tone. Perfect.”
From: Goodreads, by Andrew Hook (11 December 2021)

One Is One

“Mysteriously pleasant reading, with brilliant messages about how fast a message can travel through the internet and its tremendous influence, the protagonist’s inner thoughts perfectly guide us through this change.”
From: Tangent Online, by Christos Antonaro (24 July 2017)

Insider Art

“Veronica Tierney is an artist whose husband, Geoffrey has been in a persistently vegetative state. She has been living in an intelligent domicile called Home which has provided a companion named Dom for her. Now Geoffrey is awake and her situation changes. A very well-told story.”
From: SF Revu, by Sam Tomaino (25 April 2016)

Brown Cat Blues

“Awww. This story is both incredibly cute and incredibly difficult to read as a cat owner. It’s a bit less about cats, though, and more about anxiety. About worry creating ghosts of people, about a particular situation where a cat gets locked in an apartment and the renter of said apartment suspects the cat might be trapped there. Not because it’s likely but because the “main character” of the story has anxiety and worries about everything and is certain that because they didn’t walk the apartment one last time it means a cat got in. And in that moment they create a ghost of themself that haunts the apartment, that discovers that there is indeed a cat there, though it is powerless to do anything about it. And it’s a great way of conceptualizing that fear and anxiety, as this ghost presence. Because it does become an active part of one’s mind all the time, the nagging worry, that certainty something has gone wrong. And yet it is incorporeal, unable to help, unable to do anything but witness the truth. If the cat hadn’t been trapped it would have still been there. It’s a fine story and is mostly a person’s anxiety-ghost watching a cat which makes for some great reading. And I can honestly say that’s never a sentence I expected to write, but it works, the story works, the worry and the voice and the cat and the ghost and everything. It takes a close look at this aspect to anxiety and routine and fear and really sells it. Another great story!”
From: Quick Sip Reviews, Charles Payseur (29 March 2016)

Time to Play

“Patrick Doyle finds his carer Reef annoying, but as a recent quadriplegic following a road accident there are a lot more annoying things than Reef. Then a pretty girl kisses him and a would-be guitarist plays his favourite tune; Doyle starts to realise there is more to Reef than meets the eye. This is a very spooky story and more than a little unsettling. Was I outraged at Reef’s manipulation of Doyle or happy that Doyle had found an outlet for his talents. Maybe a bit of both.”
From: KZine Issue Nine: Review of May 2014 Issue, by Steve Rogerson at (12 May 2014)

Bee Futures

“Bee Futures” by Vaughan Stanger. (Future farmers vs. anti-GMO activists; robot bees.)  Surprised to see another bee story when Grant’s “Buzz off” was published only six weeks later, but they are very different. I liked the set-up and setting, and the conflict was believable, but the end… I didn’t buy. No matter how much trouble it is to grow food, why quit? And this line: “He had hoped that people would choose to die wearing flowers in their hair, but that rarely happened,” could have been a poignant ending, if it had been attached to a different story, but it’s not supported by the plot up until that point. Still, good idea, good execution for most of the story. 4/5″
From Review: Nature “Futures” April, May, June 2013 at by Carrie Cuinn (8 July 2013)

First and Third

“First and Third” by Vaughan Stanger – Joe loves Maisie, even though she’s dead. He keeps her mind alive, downloaded on some sort of server. He wants to keep her going until she achieves something called Rapture. It would take too long to explain the intricacies of all this. He makes a living on Mars repairing robots, but he’s on the run from the law. Things get more complicated after that. Joe and Maisie are characters you’ll like and that’s enough for any story.
From the review of Postscripts 26/27 “Unfit for Eden” at SF Revu by Sam Tomaino (26 March 2012).

Writing on the Wall

Nice humorous look at what happens as machines begin to think like humans. Not a deep and philosophical as longer stories by someone like P.K. Dick, but in a short work still manages to take on the subject with humor and deft. Very well done.
From the review of Daily Science Fiction by James Hanzelka at Diabolical Plots (1 August 2011)

Star in a Glass

While many of the stories in this collection left me wanting more, there was one in particular which seemed to create a whole world through suggestion, and left me with the fervent hope that it will be expanded into a full length novel at some point. ‘Star in a Glass’ by Vaughan Stanger is the story of the re-forming of a ‘prog-metal-ballet’ band in the near future. The story itself is in some ways an interesting character study, being centred on the egos of once-great musicians hoping to re-live their glory days. However, the details Stanger intersperses within the tantrums and trials of the band create a richly textured (if somewhat gritty) world; one which I would personally love to visit again.
From the review of “Music for Another World” by Meredith Wiggins at The Future Fire (22 October 2010)

The English Dead

“The English Dead” is an excellent story and fundamentally good SF…. The climbing lingo reads authentically to a layman like myself. The obsessions of the tale’s central characters are well-portrayed, informing their decisions and actions as they move towards a convincing conclusion.
From the review of Hub 36 in The Fix (14 January 2008)

TLP (aka Dying of the Light)

The story works well at its flash or almost-flash length; the Astronaut’s introspection doesn’t feel rushed, but the story doesn’t weigh itself down with too much verbiage. In fact, that brevity serves to accent the short amount of time the Astronaut is sure he has left, giving an extra edge to the indecision over his belief. Some readers may feel like the ending line is a bit corny, but otherwise “TLP” packed a lot into a small package.
From the review of Hub 2 by Danny Adams at Tangent Online (22 May 2007)

Moon Flu

This is truly what I call an alternate history piece…this fun tale.
From the review of Oceans of the Mind XX by Marshall Payne at Tangent Online (19 June 2006)

Sons of the Earth

Although barely filling a page, succeeds in creating some real characters and is intriguing and poignant despite its brevity.
From the review of Scheherazade 28 by Nick Jackson at Infinity Plus (14 August 2006)

Survival Strategies

Stanger’s characters are sympathetic, and the central concept is intriguing.
From the review of Neo-opsis 6 by James Palmer at Tangent Online (16 June 2005)

A Walk in the Woods

An innovative yet profoundly sad evocation of the transition from the vitality of Nature to the anaemia of virtual reality.
From the review of Interzone 189 by Nick Gevers in Locus (September 2003)