Strained Sigma Bonds by Arasibo Campeche – Review

Title: Strained Sigma Bonds
Author: Arasibo Campeche
Genre: Speculative Fiction/ Science Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

I love short story anthologies and I was very excited to get a review copy of this book, Strained Sigma Bonds to check out and tell you about. First, this is speculative fiction/ science fiction and inside there are 15 individual short stories that will skillfully combine science, magic, and profound human experiences. This book explores human resilience in the face of the uncontrollable, going beyond a simple trip through the mystical and scientific.

Strained Sigma Bonds presents us to a wide range of individuals who are deftly weaved into narratives that question the distinctions between various epistemologies, including tarot, magic, science, and Haitian vodou. Every story represents a single strand in a bigger picture that shows people attempting to take charge of their environments, identities, and even the smallest details of their life.

I love that it’s formatted in bite-sized pieces, so you can read each short story separately in a different sitting, making for easy stop points. However, I was eager to get the next story every time, because I was enjoying it so much. I read the entire book in two days on the weekend and I do think I’ll be going back and reading some of the stories over again. Some of my favorites are “Conservation of Cold” and “Butter Me Up and Float Me Sideways”.

The emotional subject of failure that permeates the storylines is what sets Campeche’s work apart. Every character’s attempt to take control of their situation – whether via magic or science – leads to unexpected outcomes. But Campeche exploits this very failure to probe the depths of human emotion and fortitude. The stories challenge readers to consider the true meaning of control and surrender since they are full of philosophical questions and emotional depth. You may compare some of these experiences to your own life and it could even change the way you look at your own past experiences.

The backdrop of the novel is set in intriguingly diverse places where disparate belief systems collide but manage to coexist, a reflection of our multicultural yet globalized society. A vivid charm and realism are added to the story by the thorough descriptions of locales and cultural customs, including Haitian vodou, which enhances the reading experience for the reader. There’s talk of Tarot and magic, which have always interested me, as well.

Additionally, the issue of addiction – both literally and figuratively – acts as a potent metaphor for the state of humanity. With elegance and nuance, Campeche addresses this difficult subject, offering a commentary on the dependencies we form in search of purpose and control over our lives. We can all be addicted to something, but many of us can hide our addictions more easily.

For individuals who like reading stories that provoke thought, emotion, and inquiry, Strained Sigma Bonds is a must-read. This novel is a singular contribution to speculative fiction because of the skillful design of the magical and scientific aspects, which perfectly balance the existential concerns. Arasibo Campeche demonstrates his skill as a master storyteller by deftly and perceptively tying together intricate narratives. I really enjoyed it and will be thinking about it for weeks after.

This would also make a great book club book because there’s so many you can talk about and the stories themselves make you think long after you put them down. I loved it and I would read other books by this author any time!

From Water Dragon Publishing, this book is available in several formats from many book retailers.

Trade Paperback Editions

Hardcover Editions

Digital Editions

About the Author

Arasibo Campeche is originally from Puerto Rico with a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics. He writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror that’s often inspired by scientific principles. He has several books in progress, but his passion is the short story.

His work has appeared in Death in the Mouth Vol. 1Latinx ScreamsDaily Science FictionTales to TerrifyWeirdbook #41Helios Quarterly MagazineDragon Gems (Spring 2023) and Dragon Gems (Fall 2023) anthologies, and several other publications.

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