The first thing one notices upon reading through the nine stories collected in Rides From Strangers by independent author Mike Sahno is how empty-feeling everyone is. If one experience can be said to tie together all the protagonists from this provocative compilation of literary tales (with a light touch of magical realism), it’s that of loneliness hard-earned through tough encounters with others. Mike Sahno is the author of three previous books, Jana, Brothers’ Hand and Miles of Files (which recently relaunched). Rides from Strangers is his first collection of stories, though he demonstrates effortless ease in developing these tales, which leave the reader with a desolate sense of loss more typically found in bleak examinations of dystopian society. Though that feeling may not sound good, these stories definitely are.