A fast-paced collection of jazzy, funky, surreal, dream-like, whimsical, absurd, romantic, experimental and strange sci-fi, fantasy, and fairy tale adventures of longing, discovery, and escape that serve as little postcards from the lonely regions of the human heart.
These tales of wonder are about people trying to find their place in an indifferent world, and the surprises, discoveries and strange happenings they encounter along their way –
– a man wakes to find his date’s hair has grown considerably.
– you find a giant goldfish, floating in a hallway.
– a supermarket is suddenly attacked by a group of Shriners.
– the president begins shrinking.
– the Knights of the Round Table discuss their troubles.
– someone wakes to find a giant egg next to them in their bedroom.
– someone finds themselves in an old rowboat, floating through a foggy sky filled with other old rowboats.
– two intergalactic bags of gaseous light interrupt someone’s morning squash game.
– a man awakes to find he has grown several really really long arms.
With underlying themes of fragility, impermanence, the mysteries hidden in everyday life, discovery, escape, loneliness, longing and confusion, these stories are a worthy successor to the absurdity and imagination of Donald Barthelme, Barry Yourgrau, and Ray Bradbury.
Readers will delight in Rauch’s mix of science fiction, surrealism and fantasy. His fiction features the absurd, the silly, the dream-like, the fairytale, all blended with the unexpected; and thematically explores the human condition, a person’s search for his or her place in an indifferent world, with underlying subtexts of loss, regret, confusion, loneliness, ambivalence, impermanence.
what others are saying:
[Rauch’s] writing is exciting, provocatively quirky, and thought provoking. I deeply appreciate [his] expert mixing of the bizarre with the realistic, and I adore that [he] blends and remixes different genres to create something entirely new.
– The Toad, Virginia Tech
I found the writing was so utterly compelling I simply had to know what the next story was going to show me.
. . a wild ride through the world of the dream, a world in which logic plays little part and the unexpected is part of the fabric of its universe.
– The Future Fire, United Kingdom
. . these stories spoke directly to the timorous, lonely parts of my heart
I really enjoyed this collection and recommend it to others. . . I definitely look forward to reading Rauch’s other works.
– I read odd books
. . the whimsical, imaginative reader will find many of these stories unique little port windows on dreamscapes, small roadside attractions
The best stories seem to be those that are most effortlessly lyrical, recalling a surrealistic Ray Bradbury.
Like the border town it’s named after, Laredo is half in this world and half Elsewhere. It is best read over a period of days or weeks, in the brief moments just after waking, when the mind is open and receiving, and the night’s dreams are still half-remembered.
– Whistling Shade
Tony Rauch’s fictions capture a sense of the irreal with style and precision. Here is an author who effectively represents the rabid intricacies of absurd life, using the colloquial to convey the Byzantine.
– D. Harlan Wilson, author Stranger on the loose, and The Kafka effect
With each story, Tony Rauch invites you into a house he has built in space, decorated with the absurd humor of Barry Yourgrau and the neuroses of Woody Allen.
– Andersen Prunty, author The Overwhelming Urge