I have mixed emotions about the encouraging Aroslav to write more short stories as it takes time away from writing more chapters for "Living Next Door to Heaven." And I really have a preference for longer stories. That said, these are wonderful and thematically consistent tales. His preface to the stories, in which he retells Ovid's Pygmalion from the much longer Metamorphosis is also compelling. As we read in his long story about a brilliant artist in college Arolsav's knowledge of not only art but the language of art creation is both wide and deep. (Spell check just turned Aroslav into Savonarola, who make a great story if "The Agony and the Ecstasy" had not already been written.) Since Aroslav is not a god then Valarosa must be a dog and I love private jokes. However, Aroslav is busy fucking off in Hawaii, so no sympathy at all. As usual, the editing and proofreading are first rate; I keep wondering if his team would edit and proof my master's thesis next year. Read these, quickies are fun too. Of course when i was younger...much younger, I thought a quickie was what you did when you only had a three day weekend. .