Unnatural Conditions – Jay Caselberg

Unnatural Conditions

Unnatural Conditions



A collection of speculative fiction by Jay Caselberg


I somewhat enjoyed Jay Caselberg’s novel Wyrmhole (though not enough to buy the whole Jack Stein series). I picked up a number of his recent collections recently, and I was looking forward to delving into them. Unfortunately, I found most of the stories in this collection disappointing. They offer some interesting ideas, but more often than not, simply don’t lead anywhere. It’s not clear what the objective of many of the pieces is, and my overall impression was that most of the stories could have used a stronger sense of direction, or a firmer editorial hand. At least one of the stories appeared not have been proofread at all – or perhaps the wrong version was inadvertently included,  missing words and all.

The best stories included:

  • Elephant’s Graveyard” – a vague, but effective story about separation and departure. I wish there had been a lot more like this
  • Sandals” – Gods in the modern world.
  • Acrimony Grout” – in an odd, interesting setting, an old sage and a young gutterrat come together.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *