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Omicron Ceti III Paperback – January 25, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Thomas Balázs displays a deep appreciation for both sexual and intellectual obsession, for how a person's private life of fantasy and fandom can imbue his surroundings with a thrillingly individual significance while also leaving him depressed and isolated.--The Weekly Standard

Though many of the characters in Omicron Ceti III deal with isolation, either falling deeper into themselves or struggling to connect with others, each story is so unique in terms of voice, atmosphere, and narrative that they feel like undiscovered planets, strange new worlds. With this dazzling collection, Thomas Balázs boldly goes into unknown territory, and you should count yourself lucky to follow him wherever he travels. --Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth and The Family Fang

Thomas Balázs's dark wit shines in these strange, often comic, yet wholly human tales of characters who grasp onto their obsessions for ballast as they navigate an uneasy reality and their own slippery selves. --Laurie Alberts, author of Lost Daughters, The Price of Land in Shelby, and Tempting Fate, among others

One of the many things I love about Thomas Balázs' debut collection is how confidently his characters steer the leaky hulls of their lives onto rocky shores. Sound bleak? It isn't. Blindfolded, gangplanked, still imagining they're at the helm, they whistle merrily nonetheless. That's what is so remarkable about these stories. Somehow, Balázs manages to infuse stories that in lesser hands would seem unremittingly bleak with humor, compassion, charm, and ample vitality. Their lives might be a wreck, but Balázs never abandons them. --Robin Hemley, author of Turning Life into Fiction

About the Author

THOMAS P. BALÁZS teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. His fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including The North American Review, Soundings East, and The Southern Humanities Review. His work has also appeared in The Vermont College 25 Anniversary Fiction Anthology and Robert Olen Butler Prize Anthology 2004. Recipient of the Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award for best short fiction 2010, his stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and the AWP Intro Journals Project Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Aqueous Books; 1st edition (January 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984739904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984739905
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,679,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas P. Balázs lives, writes, and teaches, not necessarily in that order, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A transplant to the South from New York by way of Chicago, his short stories have appeared in The North American Review, the Southern Humanities Review, and many other journals, not all of which contain the word "Review" in their title. He has won a couple of awards, gotten a bunch of nominations, and been granted a few fellowships. He earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from Vermont College and a PhD in Literature from the University of Chicago. He will rave about the former and rant about the latter, if given the opportunity. He teaches Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. His collection of short stories, Omicron Ceti III, was realeased by Aqueous Books in 2012.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob on January 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This collection of stories is an engrossing and enjoyable read. It was very hard to put it down in the middle of any of the stories - I really got immersed in each one. I was very impressed with the wide range of different characters. And I loved how well the vibe of the different locations came across (Chicago, NYC, Paris...I felt like I was there!) I definitely look forward to your next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ds on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Balazs's stories in Omicron Ceti III are darkly funny, deeply original, and disturbingly addictive. We don't quite know this world of his and aren't certain we want to, and yet we can't seem to look away. Balazs's characters are people we almost recognize; they are brilliant, dirty, confident, and unhinged. We want them in our lives, except that we don't. To borrow a partial line, this book is like "a... scholarly candy bar." Read it for the sheer pleasure of the language, and love it for where it takes you that you'd never go alone. Buy it, consume it, and be consumed. You won't be sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Graytext on February 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Omnicron Ceti III is a masterful collection of short stories whose characters explore the ethereal line between tragedy and comedy and find within themselves something that brushes our own souls. Each story offers a unique perspective on life, be it from a girl menstruating for the first time, a bride-to-be searching for her lost cat and a reason to go through with the wedding, or a divorced man trying to jump start his life with a new hair "system." And after reading this collection, just like the characters who inhabit it, you won't see the world in quite the same way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kato on February 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I agree with every word of the previous commentor. His style of writing from various perspectives is really convincing also. While the stories foster a familiar feeling with the numerous settings, they are also from drastically different characters, a twelve year old girl (my favorite), an orthodox Jew or a mental patient. Lot of fun reading the stories of a talented writer. Look forward to more.
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