Those with a taste for sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or speculative fiction will be tantalised by this weird and wide-ranging collection from West Australian Stephen Dedman. It’s full of uninhibited excursions into genre writing, and although style plays second fiddle to its obsessive imaginative drive, the prose is neat and can be devoured without distraction. The range of tales is vast, from alternate history featuring an encounter between Fritz Lang and Adolf Hitler to a ghoulish homage to the stories of Edgar Allan Poe; from Lee Harvey Oswald saving a life in his later years to a clever reworking of Arthurian legend. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the welter of genre tropes Dedman draws into his orbit. The book is crowded with ghosts, monsters, dinosaurs, dream-girls, clones, aliens, time-travel, gangsters: if you can name it, you’ll probably find it. Genre fiction nerds should find it irresistible. - The Age
You have just picked up this wonderful book, and so far you know very little about it. You donʼt yet know that itʼs bursting with short stories ranging across the spectrum of speculative fiction by one of Australiaʼs finest genre writers, comfortable in any mode. You donʼt yet know that youʼll have just finished a thrilling new take on King Arthur and Camelot, when you find yourself reading a story in which an older and wiser Lee Harvey Oswald saves a life. There are so many stories, from so many genres, so many styles, you could be forgiven for thinking youʼre reading an anthology filled with stories by many different writers. But youʼre not. This is all one man. One of Australiaʼs best, one of Western Australiaʼs very best, this is Stephen Dedman, and we are blessed to have him and his stories. —KA Bedford, award-winning author of Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait! and Black Light.
Itʼs a much-abused promise, but Stephen Dedmanʼs ʻCharm, Strangeness, Mass and Spinʼ genuinely does have something for everyone: Astounding tales of time-travel, alien worlds, and alternate realities. Stories set against dystopias almost indistinguishable from our own world, new twists on Arthurian myth, and trips back to the Old West.
Thereʼs a far-future human colony where gender is an almost forgotten concept; an encounter between Fritz Lang and a young Adolf Hitler, with consequences that neither could ever have foreseen; an obsessive fan who pays handsomely for the teeth of Edgar Allan Poe...while the seller of these grisly trophies pays rather more dearly than that. There are extraterrestrial beings, dinosaurs, cloned sex-toys, and ghosts. Many ghosts. And monsters - some of whom are terrifyingly human. There are places in this collection that no sane person would ever want to visit, but Dedmanʼs clear and utterly-engaging prose takes you there, and youʼll be thankful for the journey. An astounding collection. — Chuck McKenzie