I ve been reading a lot of the author s work for quite some time I was fortunate enough to spend a week with him at the Viable Paradise writer s workshop a few years ago and his talent was evident even in our workshops and exercises.Since that time Alex has gone on to write some very memorable short stories with a prodigious rate of publication success Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is a compilation of some of his best work They range broadly in subject matter space opera I ve been reading a lot of the author s work for quite some time I was fortunate enough to spend a week with him at the Viable Paradise writer s workshop a few years ago and his talent was evident even in our workshops and exercises.Since that time Alex has gone on to write some very memorable short stories with a prodigious rate of publication success Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is a compilation of some of his best work They range broadly in subject matter space opera, dark fantasy, urban fantasy and flash fiction formats But the aspect which almost all of them have in common is a well developed sense of humor There is sure to be a set of stories in the collection to appeal to any reader s taste.Typically I find it necessary to take a break when reading a collection of shorts by a single author, but not in this case I could not put the book down and powered right through it Almost as interesting as the works themselves are the post script notes to each story, in which the author shares some of the history and background for each work Fascinating reading Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is an entertaining mix of forty science fiction and fantasy short stories and flash fiction For those of you that don t know the name Alex Shvartsman, he s an award winning short fiction writer and editor responsible for the highly successful Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series and the new professional science fiction market Future Science Fiction Digest He s written over one hundred short stories in places like Analog, Nature, Strange Ho Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is an entertaining mix of forty science fiction and fantasy short stories and flash fiction For those of you that don t know the name Alex Shvartsman, he s an award winning short fiction writer and editor responsible for the highly successful Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series and the new professional science fiction market Future Science Fiction Digest He s written over one hundred short stories in places like Analog, Nature, Strange Horizons, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Galaxy s Edge, and many other anthologies and magazines Within the pages of this collection are some of Alex s finest stories.I read a hell of a lot of short stories and I like a variety of styles Unlike many collections I ve read that are very much a mixed bag of good and so so stories, I was pleased to find that I liked or loved all the stories in this collection This is a rarity for me, but I know it has a lot to do with Alex s range He s a master at both short fiction and flash fiction, and he blends powerful emotional tales with historical elements and sprinkles in a good dose of tension and action His characters are memorable and his prose is smooth and enjoyable to read Some stories were humorous, some dark, some darkly humorous, some expiramental, some action packed, and some light There are Science Fiction and Fantasy stories in the mix and Alex has the talent to pull both genres off effectively without his strengths resting solely in one genre or the other as I ve seen with other writers before The stories in these pages are brilliant and many will stick with me for a very long time.Do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy ESF Check out the complete review at Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories ReviewThe book contains 40 different stories of different Genre Some are sci fi, some psychological but all have some punch in it The book is compiled of the works of various authors who can pack a bang in just a few words The talent is clearly visible throughout all the stories in the book Check out the complete review at Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories ReviewThe book contains 40 different stories of different Genre Some are sci fi, some psychological but all have some punch in it The book is compiled of the works of various authors who can pack a bang in just a few words The talent is clearly visible throughout all the stories in the book I loved this collection A very broad range of stories Lots of humour, light stories which suddenly turn dark, horror, psychological, SF, fantasy, urban fantasy, it s all here.There were even a few stories I really wished the author would expound on and write a full length novel I know if he ever does, I ll buy it. Variety is the spice of short stories.A fun time in a variety of flavors with just enough related items to keep one reading on Bonus stories are an earlier lot and not as consistently humorous but still worthwhile. I have to admit I purchased this on impulse buy simply because of the title How can I not NOT buy a book called Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma I think this might be my best book impulse buy because I have loved this selection of short stories I personally love the humor in some of these tales but there is also a range of feelings and tone in the stories so it keeps it interesting and different It s a great collection and highly recommend Delightfully weird and wondrous I don t know what else to say. A collection of 40 short stories, many of which are only a few pages long Shvartsman writes a wide collection of stories, almost all in the fantasy or SF genre His writing style if very direct, lean, and effective His short stories are often poignant or have a nice twist at the end I really enjoyed the book and the creativity of the author The only criticism I would have is that when you read 40 such stories in sequence, you can see a certain sameness in story construction and pace I would A collection of 40 short stories, many of which are only a few pages long Shvartsman writes a wide collection of stories, almost all in the fantasy or SF genre His writing style if very direct, lean, and effective His short stories are often poignant or have a nice twist at the end I really enjoyed the book and the creativity of the author The only criticism I would have is that when you read 40 such stories in sequence, you can see a certain sameness in story construction and pace I would recommend reading only a few stories a week if you can hold out The stories will be all thememorable for that.My favorite stories were two with the same setting and main character They are about a magical wielding member of The Watch, who police the New York City area allowing the ungifted you and me get on with our lives without interference from the magically gifted They were great fun and seemed to come alive The author himself writes Conrad Brent is a wise cracking, irreverent, morally complicated character and I love telling his stories.I have severalshort stories planned out, as well as an eventual novel I look forward toof the same short stories by Alex Shvartsman, winner of theWSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction 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 planetd much, much The e book includesbonus stories not featured in the printed edition, for a total ofstories Each story includes author notes, written for this collectionPraise for Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma 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 Full of intriguing ideas and wit Jody Lynn Nye, bestselling author A wonderful collection of short stories that will make you laugh, think and feel Gini Koch, bestselling author If you ever need to explain Cthulhu to your Grandma, this is the place to start Henry Gee, senior editor at Nature Good stuff, very enjoyable.Hard to believe that Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is the author s first collection containing his early stuff Though some stories show that Alex Shvartsman is still trying to find his voice, others read as if they came straight from Robert Sheckley or Fredric Brown, who happen to be among my favourite short story writers.I bought the book because I had noticed the author s memorable name in my regular dose of Daily SF and made a mental note ac Good stuff, very enjoyable.Hard to believe that Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is the author s first collection containing his early stuff Though some stories show that Alex Shvartsman is still trying to find his voice, others read as if they came straight from Robert Sheckley or Fredric Brown, who happen to be among my favourite short story writers.I bought the book because I had noticed the author s memorable name in my regular dose of Daily SF and made a mental note accordingly.Very much recommended