***Winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection 2008***
**Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short story Prize**
**Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Prize**
ISBN-13: 978 1905583140
£7.95 or £6.50 if you buy online now.
Robert Shearman’s debut collection offers a gravity-defying spectacle: a procession of perfectly weighted what-ifs floating just above the real world, self-contained hypotheticals all buoyed up by a single, infinitely variable theme: mortality. Whether questioning our deepest metaphysical assumptions about death, or playing tricks with its analogies – the death of a relationship, or the petit mort of the title – Shearman continually surprises and subverts. Alien intelligence, reincarnation, imaginary children, even conversations with Hitler’s childhood pet, are all deployed to unpack the complexity, absurdity and blessedness of seemingly ordinary people.
Praise for Rob Shearman
Shearman offers us haunting, nightmare alternatives to our world that are still somehow utterly recognisable as our own thanks to the way he always picks out the comically mundane among the impossible and the fantastical. The dream-like logic of them – the simple acceptance of this as the status quo, rather than some mood sapping attempt at explanation - makes each story cling to you; forces you to make sense of it and somehow inhabit it.
– Steven Moffat
A brilliant collection of page-turning twists and extraordinary comic understanding. With Tiny Deaths, Shearman must now rank alongside Roald Dahl, Douglas Adams, even Philip K. Dick, as an outstanding and highly original storyteller.
– Martin Jarvis
Corrosively funny, wistful, sharp, strange and black as a coffin lid, Rob Shearman’s collection is an addictive delight. The stories stay with you with the persistence of a witch’s familiar entwining its tail around your throat.
– Mark Gatiss
"This is an excellent and highly imaginative first collection of stories by a writer who is not afraid to approach the big subject, mortality..."
- The Independent on Sunday, 6 Jan 08 Read review.
"Far from morbid, each bizarrely comic tale has a peculiar interior logic and, although the humour is invariably gothic, it’s also clever and oddly passionate...
Wistful, dream-like... strangly beautiful... Shearman applies an oddball comic whimsy that doesn’t deny the darkness of his stories, but transmutes into something that, through its oddity, becomes comprehensible."
- The Metro, 10 Dec 07.Read review.
"Disturbing and caustic, the stories in this entertaining first collection robustly tackle their unusual subject matter."
- The Guardian, 8 Dec 07 Read review.
""Space age Beckett."
- The TLS, 11 Jan 08 Read review.
About the Author
Robert Shearman has worked as writer for television, radio, and the stage. He was appointed resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, the youngest playwright ever recognised by the Arts Council in this way, and has received several international awards for his theatrical work, including the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, the World Drama Trust Award, and the Guinness Award for Ingenuity in association with the Royal National Theatre. His plays have been regularly produced by Alan Ayckbourn, and on BBC Radio by Martin Jarvis. However he is probably best known as a writer for Doctor Who, reintroducing the Daleks for its BAFTA winning first series, in an episode nominated for a Hugo award. He lives in London, and this is his first book.
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Rob Shearman reads 'So Proud'.
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Cover Image: 'Black Holes' by Rachel Goodyear
Courtesy of P. Scott and Alexandra Cunningham.
Thanks to MARCdePUECHREDON Gallery.
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