Strange Mammals — Reviews

“Jason Erik Lundberg’s third collection, Strange Mammals, gathers 25 short stories in which literary naturalism gives way to the surreal, the absurd and the magical. […] Lundberg has the enviable talent of achieving emotionally resonant effects within just a few pages.” —The Guardian

“Jason Erik Lundberg’s stories, launched from the real world on a trajectory to the surreal, fuse the idle daydream with the desperate heart. You should read them.” —John Kessel, multi-award winning author of The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories

“A real treat for anyone who loves stylish, strange contemporary fantasy.” —Keith Brooke, author of alt.human and publisher of Infinity Plus Books

On “The Time Traveler’s Son”:

“What I’m really interested in are stories like ‘The Time Traveler’s Son’ by Jason Erik Lundberg. Ironically, this is the least ‘speculative’ of the bunch [in The Immersion Book of SF] as it could be interpreted as either ‘realistic’ or science fictional, giving it that extra layer of engagement. What made ‘The Time Traveler’s Son’ work for me is the emotional investment it gives the reader, even when the narrative is told in short chunks.” —Charles Tan, The World SF Blog

On “Stuck”:

“‘Stuck’ raises issues regarding responsibility for one’s actions. It left me pondering whether a man, any man, stuck in a marriage and placed in this kind of situation, is able to overcome sexual temptation alone, much less able to when sexual temptation is combined with ego boosting overtures. Without spoiling the denouement, which I didn’t care for, it nevertheless made me wonder what Lundberg intended. Although the story is well-written and thought provoking, it would have been much better with a different ending. Still, I recommend it.” —Z.S. Adani, The Fix

On “Wombat Fishbone”:

“The inexplicably-titled ‘Wombat Fishbone’ by Jason Erik Lundberg is a bizarre story about a strange phenomenon that has begun striking towns with no warning. While its approach terrifies one town’s inhabitants, one of the men who is swept up by the movement discovers its unforeseen positive effects. Using some frankly hilarious imagery, Lundberg explores the randomness of magical occurrences and how a life without magic can be just as deadening as it is safe.” —Elizabeth Vail, Green Man Review

“‘Wombat Fishbone’ is a delightful story with a strong and encouraging message, reminding even female readers that being a man has nothing to do with having washboard abs. It made this reader want to join the parade of chanting, marching crusaders; although, as a woman, I don’t think my participation would be received in quite the same way.” —Rae Bryant, The Fix

On “Most Excellent and Lamentable”:

“This story has a surprise ending, which usually I wouldn’t like, except in this case it turned what would have been a forgettable story into one that demands to be reread and enjoyed a second time.” —Daniel Ausema, Tangent