View from the Seventh Layer

by Kevin Brockmeier
ISBN: 9780307387769

This collection of thirteen stories is hard to describe. There are fables (“A Fable Ending in the Sound of a Thousand Parakeets” is stunning), some are science fiction (“The Lady with the Pet Tribble” is probably best example of Brockmeier’s humor), and one is a choose your own adventure format (but is not in the least tacky). The stories aren’t all the same format or genre, aren’t more or less the same length — what they have in common is that they are well written, and they’ll make you think.

I imagine his stories would appeal to fans of short fiction that aren’t necessarily fans of genre fiction, as the stories are more about connections or loss or unintended consequences than they are about space travel or techological wizardry. What they seem to have in common is that they are quiet stories that burrow away in your head.

This is Brockmeier’s fourth book, though the first I’ve read. I’ll be looking for the others based on the strength of this collection. Definitely recommended.

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