Looking for Life

Strap in, turn down the lights, and enter worlds that will stretch your imagination to the full…

From a stranded alien comedian to the darkest depths of the human psyche; from a mind-blowing galactic adventure to clandestine extraterrestrial behaviour on Earth. They’re all here and more in this spell-binding collection of seventeen short stories to keep you guessing at every turn.

With tales of alien invasion, deep space mystery, time travel, and dystopian future Earths, this is a collection which takes inspiration from the much respected ‘old masters’ of Science Fiction. Here be new realms to explore—can you cross the void and challenge your dreams?

SELECTED REVIEWS

Review by Artisan Book Reviews

Looking for Life by Clayton Graham is a fascinating work of science fiction with seventeen uniquely different short stories. Each story has a magnificent and powerful message within its intuitive concept and narrative. It’s an extraordinary work that encompasses stories in which the settings are otherworldly, involving supernatural, futuristic, and other supremely imagined elements. Clayton Graham has created well-developed, in-depth characters drawing attention to their thoughts and psyche’s which brings a relatable human element to his otherwise bizarrely unfamiliar, action packed, transfixing and addictive stories. These characters, whether human or alien, find themselves in all sorts of terrible quandaries and places.

With an elegant, yet exhilarating writing style Clayton Graham has cleverly created a superlative collection of original stories each with twists, turns and surprises. Each story is woven together magnificently.  Every meaningful word held me fully engaged while each short story held special depth to the characters allowing me to have an amazing feeling of warmth and a deep connection to them. His descriptive writing style transports readers to shocking otherworldly lands which declares the author’s strong world building skill. Then, to provide readers with satisfying and thought-provoking conclusions to each and every one of his stories is truly fascinating and displays the brilliance of his overall creativity, intelligence and outstanding writing ability.

Looking for Life by Clayton Graham is the very best collection of short stories in the science fiction genre that I have ever read. In fact, I would prefer it over a full on science fiction novel. Graham has the incredible talent, creativity and smarts to take readers from one extraordinary, staggering, unbelievable and entertaining story that satisfies the soul – to the next!! Truly amazing!!

Artisan Book Reviews recommends Looking for Life by Clayton Graham to all those who desire to have an incredible, meaningful and thrilling reading experience!


Review by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite

5 Star Review: Purists often prefer the original designation, science fiction, for books like Looking for Life by Clayton Graham, but the less definitive, more contemporary label, speculative fiction, best describes the wonderfully engaging work proffered herein. The very best creations in this unique genre, no matter the designation, occupy themselves with the psychology of ‘human being’ rather than the accoutrements of war, technical toy-making, or scientific theory. While these highly intriguing elements of necessity clothe most imaginative stories of speculative fiction, the spirit of great science fiction is best found when exploring the foundation of life itself, whether alien or human, robotic or organic. This means telling living stories and in this glorious genre telling them with a twist.

Clayton Graham tells living stories and in his latest collection, Looking for Life, once again he tells them with a twist. Like the special secret friend of one little boy, the friend perceived as one floppy rabbit, calling down from space. Or like the alien animal collected to repopulate Earth’s barren devastation due to mass extinction, who turns out to be not just intelligent, but ‘chosen’. Or like the fellow member of a spaceship crew who lets himself be adopted by a planet, only to find himself repopulating the world with others who will certainly drive him mad. These are all stories of hypnotic speculation dressed in easily discarded clothing, provided only for some context amidst eager speculation while the reader tries to guess what might be coming next. Most often, ‘next’ comes with a delightful twist. Something to make the reader sigh, then remember why it is he loves science fiction.


Review by K C Finn for Readers’ Favorite

5 Star Review: A Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories spans many different themes and ideas within the science fiction sub-genre and was penned by author Clayton Graham. Comprised of seventeen distinctly different stories with their own powerful messages, this enthralling collection delivers both human and alien characters in all manner of interesting predicaments. From a truly unique spin on the old fashioned alien invasion trope to visions of Earth’s terrible future and some entertaining dabbles with time travel, this collection pays homage to traditional science fiction, but elevates it to the action-packed and high-concept modern standards which we now expect.

Author Clayton Graham offers a collection of stories that will certainly warm the hearts of classic science fiction fans, but the real charm of the work is in how the themes resonate with the modern world, and that the characters have real relatable depths to them. My favorite story of the collection was The Special Friend, in which I really found myself absorbed by Edward and his relationship with the bizarre and enigmatic Floppy Rabbit. I enjoyed the fairy-tale quality of this story, and indeed every tale in the collection takes on a different genre approach, from time travel calamity to dystopian adventure. Throughout the pages, Graham’s prose is sharp and clean to read, with dialogue-driven story sections that move the plot forward and characterize the new faces that we meet very well. Overall, I would recommend Looking For Life to any reader seeking good quality science fiction bites to enjoy in their break-times.


Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing Global Network)

5 Star Review: I have been privileged to have read Science Fiction Author Clayton Graham’s books, and have come to appreciate his skilled storytelling and out of this world imagination. Graham has a unique way of interlacing Science Fiction with the Paranormal. “Looking for Life” is on par with what I have come to expect from Clayton Graham’s books. I think you will really enjoy this enthralling story collection.

Let me list some synopses/excerpts of just a few of the stories to whet your appetite and let you decide:

  • THE SCORCHED GARDEN: Jay and Debb Svenson were the new pioneers. They were stretching the limits of man’s expertise to the farthest reaches of the solar system. Living a dream that few others shared. Will their groundbreaking new home survive, or will their new lives fall victim to Earth’s interplanetary wars?
  • DESPERATE TIMES: Phil convinced himself he was in complete command even though this was the first manned time travel mission; the first with a human payload. Technically nothing could go wrong. Historically, socially, physically, there was lots of scope for error. But he could always return of his own free will, which was really good to know.
  • DAVE AND GOLIATH: Ulcon’s two moons were up, casting ghostly light over the expanse of the chilled plain. There was no sign of Goliath. Stars were out in their thousands. Was one of them the cargo ship? Dave sincerely hopes so.
  • OTHERS OF OUR KIND: For seventeen ship-days, the sphere led them a dance through the chosen star’s system until it eventually reached its destination. They arrived in orbit around an inner planet that lay bathed in mellow sunshine. The sphere hovered nearby and seemed to be saying: The next move is up to you. Below them, the new world apparently waited with open arms for the newcomer’s attention. Somewhere down there, Sean thought, there are intelligent aliens. The thought induced strange feelings: excitement, fear of the unknown, even hope—all mishmashed together in a cocktail of conflicting emotions.
  • WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION: They had found her and put her in a residential group home, and there she had remained until she was seventeen. She hadn’t minded it, mostly because it was there that she developed what she called her powers. For the most part, the other kids gave her a wide berth, especially when she started telling them about their inner secrets. It had been fun for a while, until she had gotten bored. And it was then that the Department picked her up.
  • THE WEAK SHALL INHERIT: Standing, Chanuk moved over to the rail and looked at the water below. The reflections of the moons danced on the ever-changing surface of the ocean, and flickering patterns of untold fantasies gently invaded the metallic drabness of the floating city. His heart soared at the beauty of it all. The Corlens were a proud people, and Chanuk, in his own way, was very proud of them. Looking out over the glistening sea, he made out a dark shape on the horizon. That would be Tarn, their next stop on the harvesting journey. Tarn was an island that the Corlens had devoted to fruit growing, and was the last but one call on this trip. Far below deck, in the bowels of the floating city, the holds were already full of grains, frozen vegetables, dried fruit, sugar, spices, and other delicacies—all that they required for food during the coming year. As far back as history was written, the Corlens had never eaten creature flesh, though lore had it that they had once done so in the primordial ages before the floods.

I Encourage You To Read “Looking for Life”: I have also read, and given 5 Stars to, Graham’s books “Milijun”, “Amidst Alien Stars”, “Saving Paludis” and “Silently in the Night”. Graham grew up on the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK and settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982.


Reviewed By Eduardo Aduna for Readers’ Favorite   5 STARS

Looking for Life: A Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories by Clayton Graham is a must-read for all science fiction fans out there. Reminiscent of those anthologies and short stories that propelled the golden age of science fiction, Clayton Graham’s elegant and engaging writing style as well as his grasp of a scene and environment makes every short story an entire adventure in itself.

Clayton Graham has elegantly crafted a superb collection of short stories, where every word matters, and none is wasted. It is not easy to incorporate twists and turns in the small number of words allocated to each story but Graham manages to build solid stories and deliver fulfilling endings. From Verne to Shelley, Asimov, and Bradbury, science fiction has primarily dealt with imagination coupled with two extremes; hope and horror. Graham manages to capture the terrors of the fantastic while sprinkling in the persistent and enduring feeling of hope that underlies the actual journey of the human race.

The author’s exploration of fear and how each impacts behavior, both in mundane and fantastic environments, puts into perspective current real-life situations. Most people look at an anthology of science fiction short stories as something they can breeze through, some light reading on a slow day. However, the impact of each story is enough to make me pause and ruminate afterward, my own imagination soaring starting at the point where the author left off. Each story in Looking for Life is just the tip of the iceberg, a snapshot of unique individual universes ripe for exploration.