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Chris Lester has been telling stories for about as long as he can remember, and credits a writing contest in elementary school for introducing him to his muse. Trained as a biologist at the University of California-Santa Cruz, he received his master’s degree in 2004. He worked as a science teacher in California for several years, and is now a microbiologist at a drug research organization in Madison, Wisconsin.
As the creator of The Metamor City Podcast (www.metamorcity.com), Chris has twice won the prestigious Parsec Award for excellence in speculative podcast fiction: once in 2009 for Best Long Form Audio Drama and again in 2010 for Best Short Form Audio Drama. In 2015 Chris debuted a new weekly podcast, The Raven and the Writing Desk, where he continues to bring his fiction to the world.
on Sep. 06, 2015 :
I'm a picky reader. For me, it's not enough that this book combines a huge array of fantasy, supernatural, and science fiction elements into a coherent alternate world. It's not enough that its characters are driven by all-too-human desires and fears, or that the plot kept making me read one more chapter just to find out what happens next. But there is more, more than I really know how to explain. Read it and see for yourself.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Feb. 13, 2014 :
Have you ever had a book take a hold of you so completely, so thoroughly, so utterly, that what I'm about to say will not surprise you in the least? Go back and read that sentence again at the end of the review. I'm putting a little whammy on you; putting it there in front, but trust me, it needs to be there.
I read this on the train to work. I read it while waiting in line at Starbucks, even if there was only one person in front of me. I read while walking into people on the way to the line at Starbucks. I shunned the invites to you-are-a-new-work-colleague-therefore-you-are-invited-to-our-lunch-group. I alienated people in the elevator, on the stairs, in the deli, and walking from the station, took my life in my own hands as I did NOT check my perimeter like a single woman walking alone at night at a sketchy as fuck train station parking lot should do. BECAUSE I WAS FARGING READING DON'T EVEN TRY TO MURDER ME. I WILL HURT YOU SO MUCH WORSE THAN DEATH.
I resented everything that took me away from this book, including going to the toilet (I have a special toilet book right now, so I'm not "allowed" to read the Kindle there-who makes up these rules? Oh, that's right, I do. Stupid past Me!)
And the worst part was when I would, for the fraction of a moment, entertain other conversations with people, and they asked me to describe it, I would blubber like a winner on Ellen. I couldn't possible, POSSIBLE narrow down this world for you into a snippet. You will have to take my slack jawed, drooling, hand flapping, air channel wheezing, hair standing up on end word for it. Because really. IT'S THAT.SWEET.MERCIFUL.ZEUS.GOOD.
I'm ashamed to say I actually know this man, he's a close friend of mine. I went to his Thanksgiving dinner. He makes great turkey.
I'm whimpering at the idea of the other stories in his menagerie; clearly I'm some sort of sadist to keep coming back-but this is the very thing that keeps my blood pumping and my heart racing, and my legs bicycling. I'm a crazed optimist: always seeing the good in people. Always looking for the way we can turn this lemonade into more than lemonade but into sweet nectar.
It's the arcane, the struggle, the soft erotica that revs me.
It's the decisions-the TOUGH decisions that come to each of us, fictional and real.
It's the company we choose.
It's the purpose that drives us. (Sorry, drifted into the speech from The Matrix)
But it is! and the best part of Things Unseen, is that the purpose changes.
People do. Change.
I'm not a fan of writing reviews that cover the story. I'm not about to summarize for you my best parts or the scary parts. I'm not even going to try and explain that because I know him, it's sweeter. Because it's not.
It's that direct purity of seeing straight, and I mean STRAIGHT >>>>>>> into an author's soul and knowing what resides there.
He gives you that.
Whether or not you like it as much of me is none of my business. Truly!
I'm not here to sway you, I'm just here to praise. It's rich, it's leveled. it's funny. It's people. It's events. It's honesty. It's lies.
It's a Russian nesting doll.
ok, there's my close. I'm closing on that.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Dec. 14, 2013 :
I am a big fan of Chris Lester and his writing on Metamor City. In Things Unseen Chris continues to expand on the rich tapestry that he began weaving in his Parsec award winning Metamor City podcast entitled 'Marking The Cut'. If you like me enjoyed that podcast so much you listened to it twice, then do yourself a favour and buy this book. I look forward to the next one.
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)