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The Whole Mess and Other Stories
The Whole Mess FRONT cover.jpg

""Full of stories that expand and challenge the mind, this collection cements Jack Skillingstead as a master of the short form."
-  -John Joseph Adams, editor of Lightspeed Magazine and series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy
"Equally at home depicting adventures in the multiverse and outer space, these stories are pre-eminently about real people making their hardest choices.  A master of the many worlds of science fiction, Jack Skillingstead is also one of our most humane writers."
     —James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards

"Jack Skillingstead's stories are challenging and intriguing, often touching, always fascinating. He's a writer who proves that science fiction can have heart. I can't recommend this collection highly enough."
    — Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches

“The Whole Mess is a beautifully crafted exploration of the human heart told through the broad palette of science fiction.”
    — Brenda Cooper, author of Edge of Dark and The Silver Ship and the Sea. 

"This is a wonderful collection of stories about people caught in challenging situations who desperately need to both figure what’s going on and how to extricate themselves from their dire and disorienting circumstances. Jack Skillingstead has an amazing ability to bring us right into the thoughts of his characters and make us feel they are our own. While these include the doubts and insecurities, they also include those dawning moments of realization and triumphs. I find myself convinced that it’s me who is lost in a dream or a game or some other terrifying or perplexing adventure. My own survival seems to depend on the character’s. It’s me who breathes a sigh of tense relief when the characters find their way home."
    — Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov's Science Fiction

"I'm reminded again that Jack is truly one of the living masters of the short form.  He's honed science fiction to its sharpest cutting edge . . . Beautiful, daring, imaginative — this collection secures Jack's legacy as one of the masters of modern science fiction."
    — Ted Kosmatka, author of The Flicker Men and The Games

​​“[Skillingstead's] a craftsman. His sentences are spare and clean, the paragraphs balanced, yet there are so many moments that rise toward poetry. He has a gift for finding new, graceful ways to describe things we’ve all experienced and seen in print a thousand times."
     — Daryl Gregory, author of Spoonbenders and Revelator

"The tradeoff of our coming transparent world [is in] Jack Skillingstead's 'Yours, Mine, Ours.' The many gains and poignant losses. The stark choices, whether to live as grownups, awash in the kind of light that would have seared every god of Olympus."
    —  David Brin, author of Startide Rising and Existence​
Read the introduction by Daryl Gregory
Read The Writing Life
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