Go buy this book.
Buy it, put it by your bed, or desk, or chair, or couch, or where ever you like to read, and then read it.
But don’t read it straight through. Stop at the end of each story, set your head back on your pillow/headrest/cushion/ground and enjoy the warm sense of wonder that Rejiggering The Thingamajig And Other Stories will bring as it alights on your imagination, bringing a smile to your face and an eagerness to turn the page and find what is awaiting in the next story.
Eric James Stone is revelation, his writing full of the fantastic, wonderful, and imaginative world that marks what science fiction ought to be. Along with a delightful and surprising sense of humor, a cleverness for unexpected plot twists, and a taste for the quirks of human nature, Stone’s collection is an utterly enjoyable romp through a mind that is ever interested in the world we live in and the worlds we might create.
In short, it is wonderful writing.
In the title story, Rejiggering the Thingamajig, our unlikely hero is a genetically modified tyrannosaurus rex, stranded from her unborn across the vast reach of space and thrust into the role of galactic savior.
Another, the Six Billion Dollar Colon, echoes both Stone’s experience working for members of Congress and predicts the drama of vast, sweeping healthcare legislation…with a twist.
The short, one page Buy You a Mockingbird is poignant as it is parsimonious, showing a talent for language and story-telling in only an incredibly short space. Just a bit longer, but every bit as humorous as Buy You a Mockingbird is sad, Accounting for Dragons will leave anyone who has ever filed their own taxes smiling.
In a twist, The Robot Sorcerer mashes science fiction and fantasy, suggesting that the lines between the genres need not be as thick as we treat them. Or maybe they are already thin?
And there are more, many more. I found Stone’s stories brilliant and refreshing. Unique, also, is Stone’s willingness to address religion, including his own–he is Latter-day Saint–without knocking it, but as a rational examination of how people and faith might be affected by science and fantasy. Tabloid Reporter to the Stars takes man across the galaxy and asks: what if we were alien life to another planet, and what if we found out we were not the first of our kind to arrive? Whose religion would be proven or destroyed? The Ashes of His Fathers provides the opportunity for an unfaithful descendant of saints to find redemption, drawing inspiration from Thomas Babington Macaulay‘s “Horatius.” Loophole is about a young woman taking her new husband, a Mormon, home to meet her “demonic” family. And That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made examines Mormon missionary zeal among extraterrestrial sun dwellers with some unexpected results.
In short, Stone’s imagination seems to know no bounds, and his writing proves to be a powerful tool to tell his stories. I bumped into him at Salt Lake Comic Con where he was sitting on panel about the Writers of the Future contest, which he has won, alongside David Farland and Brad R. Torgersen, two other brilliant writers. He was billed, by Torgersen, as one of the best short story writers working, and, IMHO, he fits the ticket well.
So what are you waiting for? Buy it already!