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Lawrence M. Schoen

Lawrence M. SchoenLawrence Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, was a college professor for 10 years, and currently works as the compliance officer for a mental health & addiction services medical center. He’s one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Klingon language. He also runs Paper Golem, a speculative fiction small press. His fiction draws on his professional expertise, and it’s no surprise to find themes of language, memory, and cognition throughout his work. There’s a generally light and humorous tone to most of his fiction, and his style has frequently been described as harkening back to a simpler time in SF. In 2007 he was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2010 he was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Short Story.


Tales of the Amazing Conroy

Tales of the Amazing Conroy — (2009- ) Publisher: A former stage hypnotist, the Amazing Conroy really just wants to have a good meal. He’s now the wealthy CEO of a company that leases buffalo dogs, alien creatures capable of biting into and devouring nearly anything. When he attempts to implement a solution for cleaning up massive industrial waste sites, Conroy becomes targeted by ecological terrorists who resent the use of alien technology (living or otherwise) to heal the Earth. But kidnapping and the destruction of his corporate headquarters are the least of Conroy’s problems. An unknown, telepathic intelligence has begun invading his dreams, warning of geological disasters that hinge on what Conroy does next. Further complicating his life are several groups of aliens, each believing that he has a special destiny to fulfill, though they don’t necessarily agree what it is. Accompanied by his pet buffalito, Reggie, Conroy must elude terrorists, confound alien zealots, withstand temporal distortions throughout the former state of Texas, and explore ancient Mayan ruins. His adventures will result in his reunion with a long dead relative, a chance to experience the world’s greatest sandwiches, exposure to alien bliss, a battle with a megalomaniac on the slope of an active volcano, and a trip to the asteroid belt for a final face-to-face confrontation with the creature that had been invading his dreams. Somewhere in the midst of it all, he has to find his true destiny.

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Barry’s Tale: Gentle humor in a strong novella

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Barry’s Tale by Lawrence M. Schoen

Barry’s Tale, a novella which has been nominated for this year's Nebula Award, appears in Buffalito Buffet, one of a number of collections written by Lawrence M. Schoen regarding The Amazing Conroy and his buffalito, Reggie. And that calls for an explanation, doesn’t it? “The Amazing Conroy” is man who formerly made his living as a stage hypnotist, but who, at the time of this story, has a nascent business marketing buffalitos, alien creatures that look like miniature buffaloes  but are as cuddly as puppies and will eat literally anything. (Ball bearings are a particularly favorite treat.)

As this novella opens, Conroy has traveled to Colson’s World, a watery planet with a single, relatively small landmass. It was discovered by Amadeus Colson, a famously rich man and reclu... Read More

Barsk: A wonderfully thoughtful, imaginative work of science fiction

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Reposting to include Marion's new review.

Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen

When I put in my ARC request for Lawrence M. Schoen’s new novel Barsk, all I knew about it was that the setting involved a group of worlds inhabited by a variety of anthropomorphic space-faring animal species, with the main focus on elephants (thus its subtitle: The Elephant’s Graveyard). C’mon. El-e-phants in Spaaaaaccce! How could I resist? But Barsk is much more than a funny-but-cool premise; it’s a thoughtful, moving, and provocative exploration of a host of issues, including but not limited to memory, history, free will, and power. Eve... Read More

Magazine Monday Special Edition: Nebula-Nominated Novellas, 2014

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No, you have not jumped forward in time two days; it’s still Saturday. But the Nebula Awards will be handed out tonight, so this special edition of Magazine Monday discusses the nominated novellas.

The late, lamented Subterranean Magazine first published Rachel Swirsky’s “Grand Jeté.” The story is about Mara, a 12-year-old child who is dying of cancer, her father, who loves her very much, and the android Mara’s father has built that mimics Mara in every way, right down to her thoughts and feelings. It is an amazing technological accomplishment that Mara’s father sees as a gift to his daughter. Mara, however, sees it as a replacement for her, a confirmation of her fear that she ... Read More