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Everyone's Just So So Special Paperback – March 1, 2012

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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About the Author

Tiny Deaths, Rob's first collection of short stories, was published by Comma Press in 2007. It won the World Fantasy Award for best collection, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and nominated for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize. One of the stories from it was selected by the National Library Board of Singapore as part of the annual Read! Singapore campaign. Rob was one of the writers for the BAFTA award winning first series of the revived Doctor Who series starring Christopher Eccleston. His episode, Dalek, was runner-up for a Hugo Award, and his award-winning contributions to the audio range of Doctor Who released by Big Finish have been broadcast on BBC Radio. In 2008 his short story project for BBC7, The Chain Gang, won him a Sony Award, and he provided a second series in 2009. Other stories have been broadcast by the BBC on Radio 3 and Radio 4. His many plays for Radio 4, produced by Martin Jarvis, include Inappropriate Behaviour, Afternoons with Roger, Forever Mine, Towards the End of the Morning, Teacher's Pet and Odd. His last short story collection, Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical, won the British Fantasy Award, the Edge Hill Reader's Prize, and the Shirley Jackson Award.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844355713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844355716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,643,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
For those new to Robert Shearman, this may not be the place to start. But let’s pretend you’re ignoring my advice.

Shearman is a hard writer to pin down. He flits in and out of genres with ease, his prose is deceptively simple but clearly thoughtful, and his stories are always more than they let on. As much as there is on the surface here, there’s a lot more hiding below. “Magical realism” would be the order of the day when describing Shearman’s writing, but that doesn’t really do his unique (dare I say “special”?) style justice.

I recently wrote a short story for a creative writing class in the style of Robert Shearman, aping not just his prose techniques but also a narrative trick that he used in one of the stories in Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical. And I think this is fairly ok – the story itself was original; and Shearman admits in Caustic Comedies to doing a similar thing with one of his heroes, so I’d like to think he wouldn’t mind too much. (You don’t mind, do you, Rob?) I bring up this not-terribly-original story because of my friend’s brief review of it – “I didn’t expect to feel things.” And that’s the way most of Shearman’s stories work: you go in unaware (or, at the very least, unprepared) and come out blindsided, hit by a proverbial 18-wheeler ferrying all sorts of feelings around the country.

And so it was with the stories in this collection, titled Everyone’s Just So So Special. The book purports to be about history and mediocrity, much like Shearman’s previous two books were about death and love. So, you know, easy stuff to tackle. And Shearman takes on these subjects with aplomb, fitting in conflicting views of each so that there’s no easy answer to the questions that each poses.
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