Critical Acclaim for Bart Stewart’s

   TALES  OF  REAL  AND  DREAM  WORLDS

In an age of fakes, decoys, and lifeless imitations, the stellar originality of Bart Stewart’s Tales of Real and Dream Worlds is like a shot of divine ichor in the carotid artery of a wonder-bled world. Ranging from the whimsical to the weird to the outright horrific, the finely crafted stories of this debut collection demonstrate a keen insight into not only the human condition, but the inhuman and nonhuman conditions as well. For readers with a penchant  for the darkly miraculous and the mysteriously surreal, Tales of Real and Dream Worlds is positively guaranteed to please.

– Robin Spriggs, Author of Wondrous Strange: Tales of the Uncanny

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It is unusual, to say the least, to be able to scream accolades from the rooftops concerning a book that’s been sent you by a relative unknown. So color me unusual when I say that Bart Stewart’s Tales of Real and Dream Worlds between its covers holds the kind of storytelling the short story aficionado longs for, but rarely receives. Forgive me the casual style, but this is not so much a review as it is a testimonial … I strongly advise you buy this book. It’s money in the bank.

– Steve Hansen   Book Critic for TQRStories.com

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I read a lot of short stories, and even years after reading it, I still think about The Jingle.Stewart’s writing is that memorable – witty, smart, and craftfully constructed. The Jinglewas, in my opinion, one of the best stories we selected in the decade we published.

– Penny Talbert
Editor, The Circle Magazine,  (A Pennsylvania Literary Magazine)

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“Tales of Real and Dream Worlds,” local author Bart Stewart’s first book, is an entertaining and chilling short story collection.

–  John L. Smith , columnist, Las Vegas Review Journal,  (Nov. 24th 2006)

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The world conjured by Las Vegas writer Bart Stewart is one plagued by statues that suddenly come alive, by incessant advertising jingles that cause people to go mad, by mysterious beach towns haunted by ghostly telephone callers. Stewart is of the Rod Serling school of storytelling, where cold realism rubs elbows with a bit of the weird. Indeed, Stewart’s debut story collection, Tales of Real and Dream Worlds, has very much the feel of an old “Twilight Zone” episode.

– Jarret Keene, Las Vegas City Life,  (May 2007)

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When it comes to short story collections, Bart Stewart brings a lot to the table withTales of Dream and Real Worlds. The plots vary, but all of them contain the dark undertones of H. G. Wells and Stephen King. I had to be careful reading because the suspense kept me turning the pages and forfeiting my sleep.

Tales of Real and Dream Worlds will make a great read for science fiction and horror enthusiasts alike. The pacing made for suspenseful reading, and the descriptions and characters stayed with me long after I closed the book. This one rates five stars.

–  Barbara Custer, in the Horror Literature Webzine Night to Dawn

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Bart Stewart’s first book, Tales of Real and Dream Worlds, is a collection of stories that rev the imagination. I am one who loves reading books that keep me at the edge of my seat. This author uses his style like a bait to not just bring readers to the main point but reel them in, inch by inch, introducing colorful characters with lifestyles from lower to upper class.
Tales of Real and Dream Worlds provokes suspense!

– Elaine Kelson,  The Rose and Thorn Literary Ezine

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Throughout Tales of Real and Dream Worlds the writing is solid, the characters are believable and I related to them. The characters’ reactions to the mundane-gone-macabre are not over the top but seem to reflect how one would truly react. The dialogue is strong and convincing, which is a trait not found often enough in today’s books.

… My overall opinion of Tales of Real and Dream Worlds is that you won’t be disappointed by the book. If you enjoy bizarre or horror stories then this book will be a nice addition to your personal library. I have read the book three times now and will likely read it again in a few months.

Sharon M. White, Book Critic for NonEuclidean Café (A literary web site)

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The first story, “Theater on the Air” takes readers back to Oct. 30, 1938, when Orson Welles broadcast The War of the Worlds over the airwaves and created a national scandal by frightening a multitude of listeners. In “Theater on the Air,” a rural family listening to the radio is caught in the grip of the panic and races off in their car, running into a variety of similarly frightened — and opportunistic — individuals as they look for gasoline and safety.  It’s a literary story, in truth, rather than science fiction or horror, but well-told and worthy of reprinting  …

The stories that readers are most likely to link to this collection, however, are the three tales about two carnivorous black stone cats: “The Statuary Cats,” “Silence of the Statuary Cats,” and “Kittens of the Statuary Cats.” The stories reminded me of the kind of early pulp-supernatural tales I enjoyed from writers like Manly Wade Wellman. They’re told in an old-fashioned, slightly stilted manner, and share pulp-fiction’s enthusiasm for building bizarre, alternate-evolutionary mythologies.

– Dru Pagliasotti, Review in The Harrow.com

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Approximately 46% of this collection revolves around Stewart’s ‘Statuary Cats,’ a pair of Egyptian-style cat statues that can come to life. His explanation of a new species (actually thousands of years old), always found in pairs, that can ossify and de-ossify at will is satisfactory, and the broad scope of the overall story (which is split into 3 stories) propels the story quickly past any objections on scientific grounds. These stories are carefully written, with emphasis on the lengthy pauses between any movement on the cats’ part.

The first story in this collection, “Theater on the Air” struck me as the most interesting, as it shows a glimpse of false 1930s apocalyptic fiction. A family in the farmland hears Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worlds radio program and flees their home. An encounter with a teary-eyed gas station owner and the conflict with an unstable passenger they’ve picked up round out the story, making it very enjoyable.

“Dumpster of the Mind” could easily have been a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits story, as it revolves around a drunk who sees something in his dumpster that no one else sees. It is well-written, somewhat gripping, and nicely ominous at the end.

– Rusty McCain in Atomjack.com (science fiction web site)

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Bart Stewart has put together a fine collection of short stories that are sure to conjure up a few nightmares. Readers are sure to find a favorite in this collection. My personal favorite was The Jingle. I feel that I can relate to commercialism being completely out of control. In this particular tale, set in D.C., this jingle from a TV commercial quickly drives the populace crazy. It is a creative work that everybody should be able to relate to.

The stories flow very well and have a nice pace. You won’t get bored or want to put this book down! I highly recommend Tales of Real and Dream Worlds.

Sinister Tales, Volume 2.3   Book Review

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Bart Stewart is a compelling new voice on the literary scene. In Tales of Real and Dream Worlds, he carefully straddles the line between serious, insightful storytelling and darkly comic, almost noir humor. The reader is quickly caught up in Stewart’s vision. His descriptions come across with vivid accuracy.  His use of language and literary device would hold up even if a storyline never developed.  However, that isn’t an issue as Stewart guides the reader from set-up to conclusion with interesting plotlines.
– Ace Boggess, author of DISPLACED HOURS  (www.gattopublishing.com)

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The Statuary Cats! Too scary to read at night!

– Ginger Bruner, KUNV-FM, Las Vegas NV

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Wow, you are great!  I just finished The Jingle last night.  The Statuary Cats had me on the edge of my seat.  Unfortunately I do own 2 black cats.  I have been terrified of them all week, and I have been trying to sleep with one eye open. I do hope you will publish more books soon.

Shanra Sasser, Staff Accountant, Capstone Management Company, North Carolina

(This last one is just a little fan mail that gave me a lift!)

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TALES  OF  REAL  AND  DREAM  WORLDS

ISBN  0-9785817-0-9               $10

A Trade Paperback Original from Paper View Books

Available at Amazon.com

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