Sensawunda! Of All Possible Worlds Reviewed…

A key to one of the many offhand comments made in my novella "Of All Possible Worlds." Costas says, "I think we found Waldo."

A key to one of the many offhand comments made in my novella “Of All Possible Worlds.” Costas says, “I think we found Waldo.”

After qualifying her comments by saying that ‘none of the stories enthused her greatly,’ Lois Tilton at Locus goes on to say many nice things about my cover story novella in the August 2o14 issue of Asimovs.

This one is a nostalgic fannish delight, revisiting the sensawunda of the goldenAstounding age with Orgone boxes, Dean Drives, and John W Campbell, a personal friend/rival of Galen’s. The plot is a full-stuffed sausage, bursting its casing with skiffy references, alternate timelines, aliens, and red-herring gizmos.

The Tangent review by Clancy Weeks was also gratifying:

 “Of All Possible Worlds,” covers a lot of ground, selecting ingredients from several genres and mixing them in a perfect recipe of alternate worlds. Several times I was sure of the eventual outcome, only to find myself at square one again with no clue as to the possible resolution. To me, that’s the sign of a ripping good yarn.

The story consumed me for months; Sheila Williams at Asimov’s suggested the ending wasn’t quite right, confirming the verdict of all three of my writing workshops so I took another crack at it and the end result was, I think, better.

I will be releasing an expanded edition as an ebook with both endings in a few months, I think; the original ending, about a short stories worth of content, has a lot of stuff in it, and there’s an extra scene that I have wanted to write for awhile now.

I’ve gotten three or four nice notes on this blog about the story as well.

If you read and liked the piece, please feel free to head over to Goodreads and give it a rating and a short review. Anything to displace the one line written by the one guy there with the super grumpy looking avatar.

Posted in Making a Writing Life, My Publications
2 comments on “Sensawunda! Of All Possible Worlds Reviewed…
  1. Congrats, Jay, on not only the publication and reviews, but also on writing a terrific story. I’ve always loved the idea of the mad genius toiling away in obscurity in his workshop trying to save the world. There are so many great images in the piece, and it’s full of wonderful surprises. I really didn’t see where this one was going until the end. Thanks for a great read.

    For everyone else, you can download Asimov’s from Amazon at:

    And from Kobo at:

    …which also has the distinction of allowing you to download back issues, in case you miss the August issue.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for reading and posting! There are so many resonances in there that, like so many things, start out as subconscious arbitrary decisions and which take on a life on their own on the page. The old man / young man thing, this Heinlein territory, but brought up to date, for our generation, which didn’t actually do much of anything, except cower in the shadow of the cold war, and brutalize ourselves in weird unnecessary initiations into manhood involving sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Midlife is I think a good vantage point for a writer. We should take advantage of this age, this time, while we have it. We can see and remember the young man and boy and we can imagine, finally, the old man, as we see ourselves change with time.

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