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  • Writer's pictureGavin Matthew

The Intriguing Anthological Experience that is Spyfunk!

Are you a reader who likes mystery and espionage? Do you dig on secret plotlines, twist endings, and unpredictable characters? Then the Spyfunk! is the anthology for you! Filled with spies and adventure, this book holds numerous thrilling stories brought to you by a belly of skilled writers. These authors turn the dynamic of the suspenseful genre on its ear as they deliver creative narratives. Spyfunk! is an excellent experience of collected works that embrace and uplift the African Diaspora as we know it.

  • Enjoy the reports (reviews). Read a taste to get your appetites ready.


John F. Allen's Spy School

- A story reminiscent of the entertaining spy film genre, Spy School follows CIA agent Jameson and MI6 agent Zewde as they infiltrate a high-class party. John F. Allen's talent for description and imagination entices readers with an excellent opener to the anthology. The story is an enjoyable moment with a great payoff ending. As the stories kick off, Spy School delivers the lure that will bait readers into eating the complete meal.

"You Americans talk too much."

--- Aisha Zewde


Eugen Bacon's She Loves How He Glows

- A poetic tale of traditional magic and family, this touching story tugs at your heart until the very end. Readers follow the powerful root worker and leader Chief Ade as she encounters something strange in the wilderness. While the short is another great example of a thriller, it is also a grand story of motherhood. Fans of Eugen Bacon can expect another intuitive adventure that borders dream-like in its presentation. She Loves How He Glows mesmerizes its audience, painting art with her words and fascination.

"It's a night of black flies, soft-bodied and bioluminescent, dancing their lights in a hunt or a woo."

--- Opening Sentence


Jeff Carroll's Not For Nothing A Mad Skillz Story

- Bringing optics on a more modern narrative, readers will follow talented family man Marion "Skillz" as he is forced to introduce his loved ones to his secret life. This story wields skillful dialogue that wraps its pages in conversation and still manages to give you action on New York's streets. The narrative offers a moment in the anthology devoid of science fiction and fantasy that is a good reprieve from the extremes. Like taking a breath, Not For Nothing A Mad Skillz Story is a great scene of espionage fiction that dares to relate.

"Daddy, why do you have all these guns?"

--- Jazmen, the Daughter


Keith Gaston's The Interview

- Following a skilled assassin codenamed Cinnamon as she is imprisoned, audiences are treated to an excellent teaser! The action and descriptive writing of The Interview are so precise and clean that the story moves effortlessly. As with any good spy/thriller, the ending is worth the entire read. Keith Gaston gifts readers with an enjoyable piece of work while simultaneously leaving us wanting more. Gritty and raw at times, The Interview is the groundwork for a great novel.

"You must be new. Otherwise, you'd know better to come in here alone."

--- Cinnamon


William J. Jackson's The End Is the Ecstasy

- A cyberfunk tale of espionage set in the futuristic hollows of the Eastcoast, The End Is the Ecstasy drops its readers right into the action as Athanasius Wynne (codenamed Bet) finishes out one spy job before starting another. The story successfully builds its own reality in a short amount of time which opens up its audience to the coming experience. If you are a gearhead who loves the sci-fi theme of cybernetics then this tale will not disappoint.

"Can't force a stay. This requires Finesse."

--- Bet


Joe Hilliard's El Originario Extrano Del Kalypso Kid

- Jumping into the political and athletic world of the 1950s, readers are honored with a wonderful pulp tale featuring luchadores and heritage. El Originario Extrano Del Kalypso Kid follows several threads including the Jamaican wrestling team and its battling star Dante Davis the Kid. Joe Hilliard succeeds in weaving a captivating story full of suspense. It is a short that wants to be a novel and by the time the audience finishes, they want it to be as well.

"What for? We won't be here long. I know their names. That's all I need to know."

--- Dante Davis the Kid


Tiara Jante's When the Tide Turns

- A first-person story told from the point of view of a woman who is half alien artificial intelligence and half human, When the Tide Turns establishes a world that has integrated with the unknown. It is a brief read that runs like a memoir. The espionage element takes a small backseat in this tale, but audiences do follow the heart of their narrator. In between the science fiction sits a sense of drive that fuels the story towards a reward.

"We heard the beacon. We are here for MAYA."

--- Ship Command


B.J. Jones's Codes and Coda

- A short decorated with vignettes that tell a quick but precise story about triplets who run a high-tech security company. The Ivan Research Company is so successful that they save countries all over the world from disaster. Codes and Coda offers readers an enjoyable bit of espionage that plays through the love of the Ivan siblings. Dramatic at times, the story moves quickly over years and hits harder as plot points start to form. B.J. Jones weaves a skilled narrative of political conflict and spies that captivates its audiences until the very end.

"Some dogs gravitate to leaders."

--- Jim Ben Ivan


Gavin Matthew's Train, Pain, & Naturals

- A story reminiscent of the 1970s Black pulp novels, Train, Pain, & Naturals is an action-fueled espionage tale that features an underground activist and a writer as they survive assassins on board a locomotive called the Golden Rush. The writing gives readers a rogue's gallery of unique characters with exciting moments that could easily carry larger stories. Gavin Matthew's love for culture and the funky 1970s are on full display in this gritty action-thriller.

"Sure. Who doesn't like a man of action?"

--- Patricia


Balogun Ojetade's Ace of Spades

- Anyone who has read a story from Balogun Ojetade will recognize his skills in Ace of Spades. Fans and newcomers are treated to a powerful action tale that follows the international Black spy agency known as Damage Control as they carry out an operation codenamed: DEEP SLEEP. The writing is intentional and descriptive, allowing for an enjoyable read that easily moves its narrative. Rich with culture and detail, audiences will truly have a good time experiencing this well-woven action-drama.

"We'll do this your way. Just remember --- don't get caught."

--- Dr. Franklin, Director of Damage Control


Guy A. Sims's Three of Clubs: Centimeter

- A fun short, Three of Clubs: Centimeter is a quick breath from the longer narratives. It builds with potential and has an interesting niche for its in-world espionage organization. The playing card theme is always a fun element to read. Despite being a quick tale, readers still get to enjoy the main character Tre in his snippet of the action. His new role demeanor lands well and helps to carry the short's interest.

"Simple and Clean."

--- Ocho


Russell A. Smith's Rundown in Jamdown

- Following the adventure of super spy Simone Rivers in 1985 Jamaica, Rundown in Jamdown reads like a fun familiar action movie. It is a first-person experience that quickly dips audiences into the espionage. Russell A. Smith doesn't shy away from the expected tropes but instead uses them to the advantage of his story. If you are a reader who enjoys the 80s and action then this tale is definitely up your alley, or rather on your island in this case.


--- Oliver "Dust" Parks


R. Turner's The Standing Death

- The swashbuckling tale of an assassin named Nakisisa as he sets his sights on a royal target. This story is very enjoyable and well-written! Permeating with hints of swords and arrows, The Standing Death succeeds in delivering an experience that readers do not want to put down. Good writing forms imaginative visuals and a protagonist who is clearly relentless in his goals. A sequel or series would not be outside the thinkable for this fun story.

"Devils do hound the feet of the unrighteous."

--- Nakisisa


Dennis R. Upkins's The Bonds That Bind: A Pogue Institute Case

- A heartfelt story featuring two young teens, The Bonds That Bind: A Pogue Institute Case is a quick and relaxing read. It is a reprieve from the high-octane action that its peers display, and instead gives audiences well written peaceful moment. Dennis R. Upkins steps us away from the pulp and gets us emotionally intrigued. The story is a tale of humanity that really gets readers to reflect on the power of relationships.

"I want to know why. Why me?"

--- Cameron David


Napoleon Wells's A Bullet from a God's Gun

- A well-constructed world that blends fantasy and sci-fi, A Bullet from a God's Gun follows a powerful Usuiku (Shadow Walker) named Emaje Bul while out on a job. This story weaves an excellent narrative that includes mythological creatures, pantheons, and nanite technology all functioning on an alternate Earth touched by the amazing. Napoleon Wells manages to build his world and simultaneously moves the story with skillful effort. This first-person tale successfully lands as one of the final stories to end the anthology.

"Gods and man bore that in common."

--- Emaje Bul


Milton J. Davis's Ghost

- The last story in the anthology, Ghost is the bookend to finish it all. This story follows newly retired spy Malik Cooper as he gets ready to start a normal life Georgia. He soon finds that leaving the world of espionage behind to be harder then he thought. Milton J. Davis does an excellent job with his tale. the narrative moves blissfully and the characters are intriguing. Ghost leaves audiences hungry for more. For those like myself who are familiar with the Georgia setting, the story does a thorough job in blending locations. As Spyfunk!'s last short, this tale is a great way to close out this collection of beautiful imaginations.

"So, tell me about Ghost."

--- Malik Cooper

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