At the University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies meddling with unknown powers can be dangerous work. Courses in arts and sciences experiment with supernatural forces to solve the mysteries of the universe, but when school projects go awry, the students may discover more than they would like to about the madness of the cosmic ‘Beyond’.
Eight interwoven stories follow students whose school work, social lives and inner demons crash together, leading to fantastic and horrible experiences, supernatural powers, and a fuller understanding of the dark depths of their world.
Classes include subjects such as time travel, alchemy, oneironautics , psychedelic transformation, rogue automatons, cosmic ghosts, reality-warping crystals, and more.
Inspired by many authors of science fiction, fantasy and horror, including H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Kurt Vonnegut and Isaac Asimov.
The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies was a bit daunting at first. At 720 Kindle pages, I was a little concerned. Fortunately, this book is a collection of short stories. And although the stories share some of the same characters, each story has its own beginning and its own thrilling ending.
This book is a lot like a steampunk Twilight Zone, with horrific parts and beautiful parts. A few stories have happy endings, and many have terrifying ones. A little too terrifying for my liking, but well-written, nonetheless.
My favorite stories were The Right Hand, and The Alchemist’s Assistant. In The Right Hand, a student builds a robot from a perpetual motion machine. This story reminded me of HAL in 2001: a Space Odyssey or Joshua in WarGames (“Shall we play a game?”). There is a great quote in this story from Professor Bidaia, who had conceived the original design for the robot. Bidaia said,
With these two hands, I will make my own destiny.
The Alchemist’s Assistant follows a young man who is trying to find a cheap, renewable, food source. To that end, he uses a mushroom called the Cogumelo Morte Renacer (death mushroom reborn, in Portuguese) to help in his experiment. The results are not quite what he expected.
I give The University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies five stars!! This book is an exciting and surprising read, with lots of twists and terrifying turns. If one story overcomes you (as it did with me), you know that another story, with perhaps a happier ending, will be just a few page turns away.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
Wolfgang Edwards was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1987. He has been an aspiring writer since he was a child and intends to keep writing the rest of his life.