In so many ways this book seems tailor-made for me. I love the short story as a literary form. I love weird fiction and science fiction. I tend to root for the under-dog, and the self-published author is definitely an underdog.
The eleven short stories in this book are highly imaginative. Author Werbeloff can take an ordinary moment and skew it to an interesting angle. His writing is crisp and the stories are easy to read, even if they are bit oddball in nature.
Although all the works are good it was easy for me to pick two that stood out as being exceptional. “The Time-Traveling Chicken-Sexer” not only has one of the best titles I’ve come across in a long time, the story has a developed background and interesting characters that rise to the occasion. And the last story, “The Experience Machine,” really had me interested. I was glad to see that this is actually a prequel to his novel Hedon, which I have but have not yet read. I’m definitely interested in getting it read now.
There is one aspect about Werbeloff’s writing however that keeps this collection from being outstanding. Every story in this collection carries the same tone. I noticed this about the third story in, and it held true all the way through, until “The Experience Machine” (which did have a different tone). We know that writers have certain habits and tend to write in predictable ways (this is how historians determine which plays are actually written by Shakespeare), but I’ve never read anything where this became so obvious. Individually, these stories could really stand out. But together, they actually show a lack of range. My suggestion: don’t read these in one sitting. Read one or two, then read something else for a bit, then read another one or two.
This collection contains the following stories:
“Your Averaged Joe”
“The Cryo Killer”
“Falling for Q46F”
“Visiting Grandpa’s Brain”
“The Photons in the Cheese Are Lost”
“The Time-Traveling Chicken-Sexer”
“The Man with Two Legs”
“F**king Through the Apocalypse”
“Bleed Me Silicone”
“Dinner with Flexi”
“The Experience Machine”
Looking for a good book? This collection of eleven short stories is highly creative and worth reading, but perhaps in small doses.
I received a digital copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Jason Werbeloff
paperback, 246 pages