Ray Vukcevich's new collection includes 33 previously uncollected stories, all with his trademark whimsical skewed look at the world around us. It's a world seemingly not our own, and yet if we look hard enough we'll find that world just out of sight around the corner. A world of hidden stairs, funny smells, vampire girlfriends, fire women, missle boys, secret libraries, and impractical (and yet frighteningly real) airline procedures. Wonderfully inventive and wildly unpredictable, these stories are sure to entertain you and keep you wondering: "Are we there yet?"
"Boarding Instructions shows Ray Vukcevich at his best, which is saying something. From short and mind-bogglingly witty “Superpowers” to the heartrending “Over Here,” Vukcevich’s stories engage the mind and the heart. He even makes grocery lists interesting. interesting. Boarding Instructions shows why Ray Vukcevich is one of America’s best writers."
—Kristine Kathryn Rusch, author of Diving Into the Wreck
“Each story is a tremendous mouthful of unusual and dazzling fiction. Like a marching band that comes in one door and out the bathroom, one never knows how Vukcevich will surprise us with his gifts: outlandish adventures, peculiar circumstances, absurd characters, occasionally dosed with a smattering of hip alien influence or the overarching influence of Pi. Vukcevich’s stories are dreamy, hilarious and uninhibited.”
—Stefanie Freele, Fiction Editor, Los Angeles Review
“There is no such thing as a typical Ray Vukcevich story. They all start a strong left turn from reality and then do the Charleston through a space warp. You will find humanity, you will find hilarity, and you will find a one-of-a-kind imagination who deserves to be a household name.”
—Adam-Troy Castro, Science Fiction Weekly
"Ray Vukcevich doesn't quite live in the same world the rest of us do, although his world his full of many of the same things ours is. Flashlights. Wars. Romantic entanglements. But it's also full of strange magics. I'm not sure those magics aren't in our world, too, but it's only after reading Ray that I think I might know how to look for them. Boarding Instructions will let you see signals in the dark."
—Maureen McHugh, author of China Mountain Zhang
"Using our own momentum and expectations, Ray Vukcevich flips us into something unexpected again and again. We end up flat on our backs, laughing at the trick. There are other masters of such literary aikido, but the special genius of Vukcevich is that he finally flips the reader not into mere hilarity, but into something poignant or satisfyingly mysterious. His stories delight, and they also nourish."
—Bruce Holland Rogers, author of The Keyhole Opera
"One thing I really like about Fairwood Press is that they put together some top notch collections by both authors I have heard of before, and authors that I’m glad I’ve found out about through their collections...I am very glad I was introduced to Vukcevich. His wonderful stories take the ridiculous, and while it disarms you with the funny, it works in a deep point that hits you out of the clear blue. It was there the whole time, and you never noticed. In the 33 stories collected in Boarding Instructions, most of them only a few pages, you get tales from all over the gamut of speculative fiction, but each one retains a style very much Vukcevich. Clear prose with a smooth delivery makes these stories easy to read, and the impact behind them keeps them rattling in your head for a while...None of these will let you down."
"It is almost impossible to adequately describe a collection by Ray Vukcevich. In fact, it is often equally impossible to describe even a single story by him. His view of the world is so twisted – in a good way – that he makes his readers look at even everyday things from an entirely new perspective. The stories collected here range from SF to fantasy to just plain weird. They involve vampires and guided missiles and time travel and superhuman powers and secrets of various sorts. There are love stories and mysteries and stories where the plot – if there is one – is relegated to unimportance. I think he is probably the most distinctive short story writer since R.A. Lafferty and David R. Bunch. I couldn’t possibly single out favorites from this one, but good examples of the range of his talent would include 'Chain,' 'Fired,' 'Love Story,' and 'A Funny Smell.' Very highly recommended.
—Don D'Ammassa, Critical Mass
"There is no other planet like planet Ray."
—Nina Kiriki Hoffman, author of Thresholds
"In Ray Vukcevich's ingenious stories the absurd and the profound are seamlessly joined through fine writing."
—Jeffrey Ford, author of Ahab's Return
"This is a short story collection, so I can't really give you a plot outline here. For those of you who don't read short stories and prefer full length novels, have no fear, these short pieces will satisfy. I don't dream often, or at least I don't remember dreams in the waking hours, but the last two wisps of dreams I woke up with in the morning had elements and plot bits from Ray's fiction...I do recommend this book to ensure you never look at grocery lists or airline flights the same again."