Review of “U-Phone XV Presents Insta-Post” by James Rumpel

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay


Rachel Shommer and her fiancé, Jeremy Nybor, eagerly await the release of U-Phone XV’s instant posting feature. It will allow the user to post thoughts without the hassle of typing. All anyone has to do is merely think, and their thoughts are posted.

“My first insta-post will be one saying how much I love you,” Jeremy tells Rachel. Rachel—but not the reader—is surprised when his first post is actually:


The post sends him to a flower shop for roses only to find the shop out of roses. Seems a lot of guys have found themselves apologizing for thoughts they’ve posted.


Whose idea was it that unfiltered thoughts posted on a public forum would be a good idea? There are reasons we learn early on not to say the first thing that comes to mind, instinctively realizing it’s one way we keep this life of man (and woman) from being unnecessarily solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Scenes of the apocalypse play out, and not merely between Rachel and Jeremy. Does the world come to an end?

This is a silly little tale, enjoyable for what it is, but I would not read it a second time.


James Rumpel is a retired high school math teacher who has greatly enjoyed using his newfound additional free time to rekindle his love for science fiction and the written word. In an author interview with Theme of Absence, Rumpel says that he’s been writing for about a year since he retired. He’s been thinking up stories and ideas for his entire life but didn’t start writing them down until recently.

The story can be read here.

Title: U-Phone XV Presents Insta-Post
Author: James Rumpel
First published: Theme of Absence, May 29, 2020

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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