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Slotski’s World
Book 2
Gary Roen

Legacy Book Publishing
August 2019/ ISBN 978-194771832
Fiction/Science Fiction

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern


In his second collection of science fiction stories, Gary Roen again focuses on the antics of Slotski, a hideous teddy bear with claws, fangs, and blood stains around his mouth. Despite his horrific appearance and alien origin, the entity possessing the stuffed animal has been tasked with using his special telepathic abilities and magical powers to help people who are in trouble.

The book contains a prologue followed by 17 short stories in which one way or another Slotski factors into the plot, either directly manipulating their outcomes or even altering fate by his mere intimidating presence, as in the case of the first story, “Eradication.” Other interesting characters weave their way in and out of the stories, including shape shifters, aliens, mediums, and spirits, but there’s always Slotski, who more often than not winds up on the top of a trash heap before being rescued by someone whose curiosity gets the better of them.

In some stories Slotski bear plays a small tangential role, such as in “Conversation,” a fun story about wordplay in which students at a school on the moon listen to a recorded rambling conversation and must use it as a writing prompt. The students are male custodians learning how to interact with other people. Eventually these students will be working in the refuse piles on the moon, one of which is the temporary home of a certain blood-stained stuffed bear with fangs and claws.

Following the short stories are seven brief sci-fi musings that appear at the end of the book. As in the short stories, these creative pieces reflect a sense of play. It’s obvious the author enjoys the “What If” factor of writing science fiction and takes full advantage of the possibilities in his stories. There’s often humor within the book, which is easily accessible to most readers with its common words and clearly-defined scientific concepts.

Reviewed 2019