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Strangely Funny Paperback – August 1, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Picture Sarah E. Glenn, a product of the suburbs, has a B.S. in Journalism, which is redundant if you think about it. She loves writing mystery and horror stories, often with a sidecar of funny. Several have appeared in mystery and paranormal anthologies, including G.W. Thomas’ Ghostbreakers series, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, and Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and the Historical Novel Society. Sarah edited two different newsletters and was a first round judge in Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine 's 2003 "Slesar's Twist Contest". More recently, she has been a judge for the 2011 and 2012 Derringers. Interesting fact: Sarah worked the Reports Desk for her local police department, and criminals are dumb.
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Top Customer Reviews
I’ve read novellas and novels from James McCormick previously. The strength of his writing is one of the things that drew me to this collection. But I’m just as delighted to have discovered some wonderful new authors. Another favorite tale by Joette Rozansky, The Homunculus Caper, involved a lazy slob of an apprentice alchemist. Determined to avoid cleaning dishes and tidying up his home, he magically animates a doll to be his tireless servant for him. Apparently mistreating magic-imbued dolls comes with some lessons in morality and fair play, in a tale that turned out to be strangely reminiscent of McCormick’s morality tale. A lot of screwy plot twists and belly laughs later, we arrive at the seminal point our hero will have to learn as part of receiving his just deserts.
Though clearly for the young reader and the young at heart, I suspect the YA audience will not be alone in enjoying these tales. Parents wishing to read aloud to even younger readers will find many of these stories irresistible in that regard, the two above notwithstanding.
The spell works, but in reverse. Instead of Mum doing the bidding of a family trolls for eternity, he is destined to a life of servitude where he will never see the light of day again, as Mother troll tells him ‘the caves outside are not something you ever want to see.”
Not your average bedside story for children to teach them a lesson about appreciation.
James never ceases to amaze me with his vivid imagination that spans all kinds of fantasies, with well developed characterization and masterful writing.
I’m rather nervous about going to sleep tonight with the story fresh in my mind in case of parallel universes.
I really enjoyed The Taste of Copper by Alex Azar. I’ll be looking out for more of his work.
And really related to Criticus Ex Machina by Sarah E. Glenn.
All in all a good read of well written short stories by talented writers when I don’t have time to sit down with a full length novel
Many different authors so if you enjoy short, quirky stories and varied writing styles, will probably enjoy this anthology.
"Criticus Ex Machina" by Sarah E. Glenn
"Jake Blossom, Pixie Detective" by Ken Macgregor
"A Proper Job for a Lady" by Gwen Mayo
"Tommy and the Trolls" by James McCormick
"One Scareful Owner" by Catriona McPherson
"I Must Be Your First" by Paul Wartenberg
The stories are arranged in alphabetical order by author, so you can get a sense of just how long the dry spells were. I'd have to go back and count, but I believe there were 7 or 8 stories before striking gold with Glenn's own tale, and another half dozen weak entries followed. I had thought we'd hit pay dirt with 4 fantastic stories in a row, but the dry spell after that mini-run was even longer. Fortunately, Wartenberg swooped in to save the day (and a certain Slayer) with a great penultimate entry in the collection.
Awkward and uneven, and certainly more odd than funny, Strangely Funny is a collection that certainly had its strengths - it just contained, for me, too much fluff in between.