Rob Steiner was born in 1972 and grew up in Hartford, MI. He currently lives in Georgia with his wife, daughter, and “wiener-cat” Scully. When he's not spending time with his family or writing books, he's dreaming of one day taking over for Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Please consider leaving an honest review of this book on Smashwords, Goodreads, LibraryThing, or any of your favorite social media hangouts and ebook retailers. It’s one of the best things you can do to support your favorite authors.
Be among the first to hear about Rob's new releases by signing up for his “New Release Mailing List” on his web site (http://robsteiner.net/). He won’t give your email address to anyone, and he’ll only email you when a new book or story comes out.
Where to find Rob Steiner online
Where to buy in print
by Rob Steiner
Published: January 30, 2013
When two bands of light appear in the sky spanning the horizons, the Recindian Compact asks disgraced history professor Taran Abraeu to accompany a secret diplomatic mission to the homeland of the legendary Mystics. But can Taran overcome the scorn of his countrymen toward his "supernaturalist" beliefs to fight a horrifying enemy that only he among all his people can comprehend?
About Those Probes...
by Rob Steiner
A short story with a humorous and somewhat insensitive take on alien abductions.
Harry Hindman has been repeatedly abducted by aliens since he was sixteen. Now, with the end of the world near, he finds out just what was up with those probes...
A Goblin Seeks a Career Change
by Rob Steiner
What's a poor goblin to do when a life of pillaging, barn burning, and general mayhem has lost its luster? Find out in this short story about Gorko, a goblin who wants to discover the world outside his Cave and Kin.
Aspect of Pale Night
by Rob Steiner
Detroit tech-blogger Toni Dzielny gets a mysterious computer disc in the mail from her ex-boyfriend with instructions to “keep it secret, keep it safe.” When she learns he was later murdered because of it, and the police consider her a suspect, she enlists the help of her brilliantly nerdy friends to clear her name and learn the contents of the disc before she becomes the next victim.
The Last Key
by Rob Steiner
Raven Byrne is a novice dahkshari warrior-priest about to complete his training when he discovers that a popular war hero named Thallan Brael wants to use an ancient magic called the Reaping Key to avenge the deaths of his family. It falls to Raven and an outlawed band of heretics to stop Brael from committing genocide against an innocent nation.
Rob Steiner's tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Rob Steiner
- In A Season Of Dead Weather
on March 13, 2013
Grab a comfy chair by the fire, a hot drink, and a book of good horror stories. Those rattling shutters outside? Just the blowing snow. Those shadows dancing in the corner? Fire light, nothing more. And the whispers behind your chair are your imagination.
That’s the feeling Mark Fuller Dillon conveys throughout his short story collection In a Season of Dead Weather. In most of the stories, it was never quite clear whether the “horror” was in the narrator’s mind or if it was real. The reader was left to interpret at the end.
And that worked for me. Each Lovecraftian tale was expertly crafted, with poetic and visceral language describing characters enduring the loneliness and isolation of a long winter in the country or the city. Dillon is a Quebec native, so he’s no stranger to maddeningly endless winters (I’m a west Michigan native, so I can sympathize).
Most of the stories were quite literary and a little confusing to me, a genre reader. But their narrative styles, descriptions, and situations were so unique that I found myself eager to read on just to hear the language rather than find out what happens to the characters.
In the first story, “Lamia Dance,” a medical student takes a break from his studies – and braves the snow – to attend a film festival where see a film that brings back haunting memories from his childhood. The film’s images of violence and anatomy seemed quite erotic to the narrator. “Lamia Dance” was either a story about being pushed into a profession that the narrator did not choose for himself...or about a budding serial killer.
In “Never Noticed, Never There,” Tom Lighden sees ghastly apparitions in terrible pain on the streets of Ottawa. He is the only one who sees them, as every one else simply walks past them without a second glance. Dillon implies that society has become good at ignoring the pain of others, as we are too busy with our own lives to notice.
If you’ve ever been stuck alone in the woods during winter, you’ll understand the characters’ bleak situations in “Shadows in the Sunrise,” “The Vast Importance of the Night,” and “Who Would Remain?” Blizzards keep the narrators from civilization, they loose time, and sees clawing shadows. Is it madness, ghosts, alien abductions? The reader is left to wonder if it’s all real or if winter has claimed the characters' sanity. While the three stories had similar themes, their unique characters and situations sufficiently differentiated them.
“The Weight of Its Awareness” had a middle-aged man revisiting a seemingly deserted, walled-off home that he originally tried to explore when he was eighteen. Grotesque sculptures now decorate the gardens, and a dark presence spies him from the home’s blackened windows and infects his mind. The story seemed like an extreme version of “curiosity killed the cat.” It was the weakest of the seven stories for me; although “weak” is a relative term since even this story kept me enthralled.
The strongest story for me was “When the Echo Hates the Voice.” Paul Bertrand is a brilliant, handsome young man who’s always the life of any social gathering and constantly seeks any excuse to be around people. The reason is that he cannot stand to be alone, for that is when the voices and faces visit him. Told by a narrator observing Paul, the story suggests a struggle between two personalities: one that seeks companionship and social reward, and one that seeks to keep us isolated from each other.
As I said at the beginning, I’m a genre reader and rarely read stories just for their styles and language. Dillon’s In a Season of Dead Weather is one of those rare works that can make even a genre reader like me want to take a second look at the literary. Highly recommended.