Stephen L. Antczak
Marietta Publishing, 188 pp.
I attend many many cons each year as a programming guest and am frequently asked to sit on panels on “Best New Writers”. I’m adding Antczak’s name to my list for future cons. For starters, I’m thrilled that he started out sending stories and LoCs to fanzines. In this day and age of small press publishing too many new writers start right off with a mediocre novel and never really work at honing their craft on short stories, which most people will agree are considerably harder to write than novels. Daydreams Undertaken presents fifteen of these carefully plotted and well-honed gems. Highlights include: “Reality,” a story about a kinetic sculpture that may affect the nature of the universe; “Pop Goes Weasel,” about a punk band trying to capture a fleeting moment in space/time; and “Captain Asimov,” in which a robot latches on to the Three Laws in an attempt to become a Hero. The stories are quirky, amusing, and sometimes disturbing. They’re full of believably flawed characters trying to grasp the fantastic. I look forward to seeing where this master craftsman’s career takes him.