Steve Lazarowitz

Twilight Times Books / 232 pages / (September 1, 2004)

ISBN: 1931201420

Science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans who spend any amount of time on the web should be well-versed in the chronicles of Steve Lazarowitz. Story by story and column after column he has paid his dues and made the climb from struggling writer to author. (Perhaps still struggling, but that is the nature of his chosen vocation.) Finally, that hard work has paid off, as the first of two short story collections hits the market.

At last, readers can fill up on Lazarowitz without jumping from site to site. Here it is, laid out before you: a smorgasbord of Steve. And, as befits a truly noteworthy buffet, there is a little bit of everything for you to sample. So, spread that napkin on your lap, keep an eye on the dessert table, and tuck in.

If you’d like to start out with something light, there are a few whimsical, teasing selections. “Brand Awareness” is a short-short that will bring a smile to your face or maybe a groan to your lips. If you can get through the playful “Alchemy 101” without once flashing on a mental image of Mickey Mouse in a wizard robe, you are a stronger person than me. But, if you prefer a bit more darkness in your humour, you will want to go straight to “Brimstone and Nitro.” The afterlife may not be quite what some people are expecting…

Ready for some SF? Discover “The Fate of the Ambrose Colony” and you might want to reconsider signing up for that NASA mission. You might also want to take that money you’ve been stashing away for a time machine after you learn the fate of one “Time Diver.” Like many of Lazarowitz’ protagonists, Mr. Tanner is a testament to the fact that justice maybe a bit tardy, but it almost always arrives. On the same path of paying the piper, squirm at the horrifying truth in “Alien College,” one of the most compelling offerings in Dream Sequence.

As our hero Michael admits, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Now that you’re all warmed up, go straight for the horror. Take a moment during your reading of “Life and Death in the EDMC” to experience the nightmarish setting and the air of hopelessness. Again, justice will not be denied. Neither will a little thing like death, as you’ll see in “Tales from Beyond.” At the rate Lazarowitz is churning out fiction, you might wonder if that is a bit of autobiography, many years premature.

But don’t leave before you try one of the fantasy selections. “The Challenge” even provides a touch of the risqué with its tale of magic and deception. And, in “The Devil’s Dawn,” treachery appears again — more rough and testosterone-charged, but a blend of magic and deception all the same.

All that and there are still stories I didn’t have time to trot out for you. Hard to believe all those pieces came from the mind of one man? You have just scratched the surface; Lazarowitz is a man of the genres and there is so much more to come.

Better start reading now if you entertain any hope of keeping up with this flexible and fruitful storyteller.