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Summary

40 short stories by Alex Shvartsman, winner of the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction. Narrated by Tina Connolly, host of the Parsec-winning podcast Toasted Cake.

  • An elder god trapped in a pocket dimension turns up in the world's oldest magic pawn shop.
  • A cybernetically-enhanced assassin who can't feel pain faces a dangerous adversary.
  • A computer hacker and a mystic team up to break into the Book of Fate and change their futures.
  • Vatican investigators are called to examine a miracle on another planet.
  • and much, much more!
©2014 Alex Shvartsman (P)2015 Alex Shvartsman

Critic reviews

"Wit, sentiment, imagination - Alex Shvartsman's got them all." (Mike Resnick, Hugo award winner)
"Fantastic variety and scope.... Prepare to be entertained, delighted and amazed." (Esther Friesner, Nebula award winner)
"His stories feature tightly constructed, intricate, puzzle-like plots with clever banter and plenty of fresh, twisted pop culture references." (Ken Liu, Hugo and Nebula award winner)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A wonderful find, a thoughtful and intelligent collection of stories

I was looking for a Cthulhu book and seeing the title I dove in...a bit too eagerly! Luckily it worked out.

It starts with a fawning foreword which put me in A bad frame of mind because I don't Want the authors friend tell me how good they are as an author. That's for me to decide. That didn't bode well.

However it got into the first story which was whimsical and amusing and thankfully was the beginning of a rollercoaster of intelligent, sensitive and thoughtful short stories. A wonderful variety of fantasy and sci-fi all flavoured with the character of the author. There is a little commentary after each story and the problem With audio books you can't really just skip past them. I don't want to know where EVERY story was first published.

So, wonderful stories but the book was let down By the inclusion of too much unnecessary commentary. Don't let that put you off however. If you're looking for an intelligent and sensitively written anthology, this is for you. If you want big guns and mindless violence, look elsewhere.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin Young
  • 22-11-17

Delightful

Great variety of premises and perspectives, with just the right amount of humor. An entirely enjoyable listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian Matties
  • 18-06-15

An Excellent Collection of SF & Fantasy Stories

Alex Shvartsman is an expert at writing science fiction and fantasy. If you appreciate humour and like these genres, you will love this book. There may be the odd story that just doesn't work for you but with 40 stories in this book there is always something coming that you will love.

My favourite stories in this collection are two stories featuring something called 'The Watch' and two stories featuring a magical pawnshop, which includes the title story 'Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma'.

Tina Connolly did an excellent job reading the stories in this collection. The different inflections her voice really helped to differentiate between characters and it was always easy to follow who was speaking during the stories.

If you are still on the fence about purchasing this book, let me assure you that this book has everything. This book even has cats. And by cats, what I really mean is SPACE CATS. How amazing is that?

The time has come. Scroll your screen up to the top of this page and click on the button to buy this book. You will not be disappointed.

PS. You may think that some of the words in this review are spelled incorrectly. You and the spell checker for this website are wrong. As a Canadian I am proud to spell words like humour and favourite with a 'u' after the 'o'. If you don't like my spelling please imagine that I spelled the words the way you think they should be spelled.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful