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The Sea Was a Fair Master

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4.52  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Maste
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Kindle Edition, 83 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Unnerving
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Candace Robinson
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I normally am not a big fan of reading anthologies with short stories when they are by different authors because my level of liking the stories fluctuates. However, I have read several stories by Demmer and was excited to see there would be an anthology with only his written words. He’s like the king of horror short stories! Anyway, this was a cool ride through tales with dark stuff, fun stuff and all around cool stuff! Gritty and dark while also being thought provoking!
Dianne
A talented author knows how to set the tone, the atmosphere and tell their story. In the case of author Calvin Demmer, he set that tone, that atmosphere and told several short stories without missing a beat! THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER is dark, edgy reading with hints of horror, the unbelievable, the gut-clenching and the just plain creepy.

Several of the twenty-three tales told could easily be expanded into longer, and probably more gruesome tales, but most importantly, each one is complete or lea
...more
The Grim Reader (Beavisthebookhead.com)
Calvin Demmer’s debut collection features 23 stories in which the author leaves no stone unturned. Demmer runs the gamut of genre fiction and in doing so gives us a varied, often stunning journey through his imagination.

Flash fiction is something that either works for you or it doesn’t. Unlike a recent drabble anthology I read and reviewed here, these stories carry more weight and have much more depth thanks to their length. When flash fiction is done poorly we often only get a glimpse at a wide
...more
Mindi
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Flash fiction is fairly new to me. I don't read a lot of stories in magazines, and I'm beginning to think that I need to change that. I'm thrilled that Demmer and Unnerving Magazine released this book of his flash fiction in a single volume. There isn't a dud in the entire bunch, and I really enjoyed this short and immensely entertaining collection. I read this one straight through, but I kept thinking how nice it would be t
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S.E. Casey
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, spanning the depths of horror, science fiction, crime, and fantasy. The commonality here is the form: flash fiction, or stories that are 2,000 words or under.

Flash fiction is not a rushed short story, nor is it simply an excerpt from a longer one. Flash is its own form. Like any story, it has a beginning, middle, and end. It has characters, plot development, nuance, and twists. Flash fiction is an economy of words, stories that start fast
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Sunshine Somerville
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This author never disappoints in coming up with unique, impressively well-written shorts. This collection of 23 stories has a little bit of everything – from crime to love to androids to the worst English class imaginable. There’s a great balance of creepy, troubling, sometimes funny (in an “oh, that’s terrible” grinning kind of way), and heart-wrenching tales.

I also love that these stories aren’t straight horror aimed for gore and terror only. They feel more akin to the works of Poe – there’s a
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Reonie
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The sea is a fair master is a collection of short horror stories. Very short stories. They are like little bite size appetizers. Each one with a different twist or some shock value.

I’m very picky about horror, but this type of stories really appealed to me. There is some gore, but not excessively. I would say that it focuses on the human condition and how terrifying that can be.

Some of the stories I chuckled at (this review is written by someone with a dark sense of humour) and others required a
...more
Romi || Romi Reads
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ebooks
I have found a new favourite genre: flash fiction. For an impatient person, like me, it's perfect! Each story in The Sea Was a Fair Master is only a couple of pages long, but contains everything you need in a story: suspense, well built characters and a nice plot twist. And talking about the plot twists, I just have to mention that most of the stories contains a twist that takes place in only two or three words. It just comes out of the blue and leaves you flabbergasted! Sometimes I had to read ...more
Jessika
This was my first time reading flash fiction, and I'll be totally honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm all about development, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about stories that were all less than 5 pages long, especially stories from several of my favorite genres. But I have to say, these were pretty darn good stories! As with any collection, I prefer some over others, but I really did enjoy a majority of them. Since they were so short, I wanted to take my time with them, so I only read one o ...more
Donna
When I picked up this collection of 23 stories by the oh-so talented, Calvin Demmer, I thought I was about to read 23 short horror stories. Oh....people!! This is SO MUCH more than that!! In fact, these stories are the kind of stories that stick in your head and aren’t too quick to leave. In fact, I savored this book. I read a couple of stories here and there. I loved reading it like that!!! Everyone is different, another person might choose to read it all in one go! But I liked having a couple ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, own-digital, 2018
Calvin Demmer creates a gruesome collection of flash fiction in The Sea Was a Fair Master. With 23 stories, the book numbers just 83 pages. Each word is considered and not one is wasted. I’m in awe of the atmospheric, creepy tales he creates in so few words. The descriptions are intense, and Demmer’s use of language is unique.

Every story is strong. They range from those I’d like to read more about to those I’d be inclined to leave in the freezer overnight so as not to disturb the creatures withi
...more
Norrie
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Writing short stories is hard, because you need to get your point across pretty quickly, but at the same time provide enough details that the readers won’t get bored out of their brains because of your dry ass wall of text. Writing flash fiction is even harder, but not for Calvin Demmer. He pulled this one off like a boss. Each and every story punches you in the face with such precision that you have no idea just what hit you. Since the stories are barely three pages long, this collection of sto ...more
Nada Sobhi

The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer is a collection of 23 short stories spanning realism to paranormal, from sad-and-heartbreaking family and romance to stories that will have you hiding under your bed.

Most of the pieces in the collection have either unexpected endings or unthought of events from start to finish. Demmer will keep you guessing about the motives of the characters till you read the last word and say "WOW" or "Yikes!" or "Wicked!"

“On these dark-blue waves, it is the sea w
...more
Anie
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Received from Author

It was such a pleasant surprise reading The Sea Was a Fair Master. I don’t read many short stories, usually preferring full length novels, but I seriously loves this one.

The stories were very unique, there is post-apocalyptic, zombies, ghost, sci.fi, crimi and love. One thing that they all have in common is that all of them are very vivid, they spring from the pages and the writing it’s very good. :)

It’s amazing how in just few paragraph the whole story comes to life and who
...more
William Bitner Jr.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-story, horror

Genre - Horror/Short Story
Pages - 83
Publication Info - June 5, 2018
Format - Kindle
Stars - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Calvin Demmer is an author that is fairly new to me. I’ve read some of his short stories in other anthologies that were authored by various authors and was quite impressed. So, when I was asked to read and review “The Sea Was A Fair Master” by Calvin Demmer I jumped at the opportunity. This book consists of 23 short stories touching on various sub-genres within the horror genre. Some of the horror is s
...more
Bree Lark
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I prefer one-piece horror stories versus mini stories. Correction, I used to prefer one-piece horror stories. Today that thought has changed.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 short horror stories varying from murder to androids. Given the 5/5 rating, I was not just pleasantly surprised but amazed how polished and addictive the stories were.

I also tend to find including humour in horror stories to be a risky move, but the humour in these stories were executed very well and added som
...more
S.J. Budd
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been familiar with Calvin Demmer's work for a while now, after we were both published in Sanitarium Magazine way back in 2015. Since then I've been really enjoying his stories which have been regularly appearing on my favourite sites such as, Deadman's Tome, Siren's Call, Dark Gothic Resurrected and most recently the Hardened Hearts Anthology by Unnerving Magazine.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is Calvin Demmer's first collection of short stories, available from Unnerving and I was delighted to
...more
Charlotte
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This author is new to me, so I didn't know what to expect when I was asked to read this one. This is an anthology of dark stories, we have murder, ghosts, cannibals and others. These stories are just great! I do like short stories just because it's easy to find a place to stop, but I didn't want to stop with this one. I read this anthology in one sitting because I had to see what dark or demented tale this author has thought up next. This book will having me searching out more books by Calvin De ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, books-to-review
All of the stories in this book are quick reads.  They cover a variety of genres and while I haven't read every story in the book yet, the ones I read were dark and gritty (sort of like that "I need to take a shower now" feel) but the stories make you think about life and how you would react in different situations.

While most of the stories are horror-type books, there is a message in each one.  Several of the stories could be expanded even more if the author chose to create a full-length book.

D
...more
Theresa Braun
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Strap on your seatbelt because this flash fiction ride is about to give you whiplash with all its twists and turns. Each story either drops you off safely at the end of the road, or (more often than not) leaves you needing a neck brace. Either way, you most likely won’t see it coming. Demmer’s adventures (sometimes at sea, as the title promises) winds us through the past, present, or future, using various perspectives, which is part of this author’s charm. Be sure to put on the brakes a little, ...more
Leo Robertson
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Usain Bolt is the fastest 100/200m runner. You know how fast can he run a mile?

No one does. He never has.

See my point? No? (Maybe that’s because I stole it from this article where they used it about something much more relevant.)

Whatever. You already know you’re never gonna see “The Posthumously Unearthed Flash Fiction of Norman Mailer.” Jonathan Franzen’s National Book Award-nominated pamphlet. Ayn Rand for Those in a Hurry.

Proust wrote sentences longer (and far more forgettable) than some of t
...more
Kameron
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars (review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

When I was reading the various stories in this collection, two words kept popping into my head regarding many characters — CREEPY and PSYCHO!

Calvin Demmer let the craziness and horrific tales unfold in various places by a few unlikely whackjobs. Man, woman, child….. Calvin didn’t limit one specific gender or age bracket to the title of crazed. Calvin’s evildoers were also not always of this world.

He tapped into our fears
...more
Yolande Branch
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an arc copy of this book by the author.

This book was a fantastic blend of intrigue, horror and quick mystery. As a short story collection, some of the stories gave you just enough time to digest the plot before coming to an end, which I really enjoyed. The flow of the book was continuous, entertaining and kept me wanting to turn the page.

Calvin has a unique way of story telling which takes you to the heart of the story before catapulting you to an unexpected end. This is my fourth boo
...more
Reads & Reels
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don’t read many anthologies, particularly the flash fiction variety, but Calvin Demmer is a fantastic storyteller so I decided to take a leap outside my comfort zone. I don’t think I will be able to do this collection justice but here I go.

Each story varies in length, some being as short as a few pages. It takes a very strong writer to capture a reader with the average short story, nevermind 5 pages but this author is talented enough to do that and more. He has created a collection that is cap
...more
Nia Ireland
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The stories in this collection span across different sub-genres like sci-fi, horror and crime but they're held together by a common thread of being unsettling as hell! Not only that, but they all have a gut-punch ending that still manages to be fresh each time.

My favourite stories were 'Letting the Dead Grow' and 'The Snakes or the Humans?', the former being straight up horror which gave me chills (not easily done) and the latter being a cross between sci-fi and a profound question set to a litt
...more
Sheilah
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have never read flash fiction before, let alone horror flash fiction.

I was a bit worried to say the least. I have in the past suggested I needed more from Demmer's short stories. So, I cautiously began reading this on my lunch breaks at work. And you know what? I really liked it. They were short, to the point, and developed enough that I was satisfied.

Some of my favorites: The Peeper, Evolution, Spanish and Hangman.

I like it when Demmer delves into the criminal justice field, so far I have enj
...more
adventurebybook
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been lucky enough to read a lot of Calvin Demmer's previous short stories and without a doubt he is a master of his craft.

The whole anthology is an eclectic mix, so no matter what preferences of horror you have there's something for everyone. There's terror on the high seas, a robot's quest to experience emotion, and even a seemingly jovial mention of Santa Claus that turns dark.

Each short burst of horror is spine-tingling and the narratives are tight and impeccably written. Calvin's tale
...more
Joy Corkery
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review originally published here: http://joyfulantidotes.com/2018/06/0...

I loved this collection because 80% of the stories were downright creepy. There were murders and ghosts and robots and they made the couple of days it took me to read this book great. In fact, I would go as far as saying Demmer’s stories are as good as those of Edgar Allen Poe.

I don’t want to go into detail about each story because, considering they are so short, it would be difficult to write about them while avoiding spo
...more
Ruty  B
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, short-story
The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, each one is just a few pages long but each one has its uniqueness and is worth reading. We have different genres: horror, mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, crime but they all have a common line, they have a dark aura and provocative themes. Each one of them caused some impact on me, either for the horror (I mean it wasn't scary but kind of creepy) or the shock, or a different emotion.

It was surprising to read 23 stories (about all kind of subject
...more
Alexandra Galván
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2018
I read What is Love? by Calvin Demmer some days ago, but I think the author surpasses that previous work with The Sea Was a Fair Master.

These 23 stories are very different from one another, something that makes you feel that they were written by different authors, and I believe that's precisely the wonder of this book. I've been told lately that writers need to find their own voice, that they need to stand out from the others, and it's true, it's how they get recognized at the end; again, while
...more
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“On these dark-blue waves, it is the sea who is judge, jury, and executioner. This is another realm, where forgiveness doesn’t exist as on land and where spirits do not find freedom among the clouds. Here, they ride the currents of forever.” 7 likes
“The sea was a fair master. The crew and I were like everyone else. We had our smokes and booze. We had our notebooks and harmonicas. We sang, we gossiped, and we dreamed.” 0 likes
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