Thank You For Your Sperm

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“Thank You For Your Sperm”, my debut collection of short and very short fiction is published by MadHat Press, founded by Carol Novack† (to whose memory the book is dedicated).

«Speh is a ‘creator of characters . . . mild and philosophical’ like the most prolific of painters searching his subject’s soul in every subtle stroke. Definitely human, certainly sublime.»

— Christopher Allen, author of Conversations with S. Teri O’Type (a Satire)

«The work of Marcus Speh, collected here, is a rounded up offering of some of the freshest fiction to be crafted in several years. Speh’s is a voice important enough to be given the closest attention possible, while working double duty as literature never so heavy it cannot be appreciated by any reader lucky enough to open its covers. This collection marks the long-awaited beginning of a writer with much to offer, and the talent and drive to never disappoint.»

Sheldon Lee Compton, author of The Same Terrible Storm

«Marcus Speh’s new collection of flash fiction “Thank You For Your Sperm” hits like a thrill-seeking cluster bomb of insight, wit, and weirdness, aimed at every heart in every time zone. Duck and cover and read this book.»

Jürgen Fauth, author of KINO and co-founder of Fictionaut.

«To read “Thank You for Your Sperm” is to embark on an extended journey where nothing at all goes as planned, yet everything, every chance meeting and wrong turn and misadventure somehow, gloriously, morphs into the miraculous. This collection is a wonder, the product of one of the most original and startling minds operating in literary fiction today. Read this book, take the journey, but proceed slowly. Breathe deep. Miss nothing.»

Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life and Together We Can Bury It

«Speh’s magic is in his ability to color the tiny details. His ideas come from secret nooks of the mind and he moves them through prose at abstract and delightful angles. As you read, one feels caught up in a master’s mechanism; a machine that doles both wonder and sadness in measures abound.»

Frank Hinton, author of Action, Figure, and founder/editor-in-chief of Metazen

«If you are the type of person who would consider buying a book called Thank You for Your Sperm, you should. The stories within are short brilliant playful poetic blasts: a baby’s first word is ‘Hitler,’ the Greek God Mars donates his divine seed to a fertility clinic, a portal turns spiders into flowers, The Serious Writer buys an iPad, a mother burns, an autistic child listens. Marcus Speh, a German writer living in Germany, has a better command of English than just about anyone. His short pieces are sometimes personal, often poignant, and always perfect.»

— John Minichillo, author of The Snow Whale

«With Marcus Speh’s stories, you don’t always know where they’re going. Actually, this often happens. The twists and curves and suppositions of his tales lead you through dark places and fun places but always interesting places. And sometimes – often – you ask yourself, where is he taking me? And – often – just before the end, you realise damn! he’s done it again! The wordplay and the mystery and the journey have lead me exactly where Marcus wants me – the reader – to be. The journey is the destination is the journey – it’s a wrap! – but still the thread lingers even after the tale is told … and that is Marcus’s true talent. It’s almost Hitchcockian, but with a definite Euro-twist.»

Matt Potter, editor of Pure Slush and author of Vestal Aversion.

«This guy is one of the most amazing, fun, original writers around. You will enjoy the shit out of this book and return to it often–it’s that good. You’ll want to share it with others and read passages aloud. It’s the kind of thing–when you really come down to it–that makes life worth while. Breathe deeply and enjoy. That’s what it’s for. It clears the head. It massages the heart. It opens the box of dreams once more. Aren’t we lucky? Yes, to have in our world, at the same time as us, someone so willing to create art this wonderful.»

Darryl Price, editor of Olentangy Review and author of Holding Your Light.

«There are many things than can be said about Marcus Speh, but the most important is that Marcus Speh writes well–a rarity in these times where so many people call themselves writers but so few know how to write with authority, care, style, or craft. Part Italo Calvino, part Karl Kraus, wholly himself, Speh is a serious writer–riddled with comic genius. His stories, fables, flash fiction, mock memoirs, prose poems, and Surrealist romps sparkle with indelible dialogue and shine with a high polish. Thank You for Your Sperm, his rich first collection, is, to coin a phrase, Speh-tacular!»

– Bill Yarrow, author of Pointed Sentences.

Cover art: Carlye Birkenkrahe. See also “The Imagination of Matter” about her work.

21 thoughts on “Thank You For Your Sperm

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  2. This sounds amazing 🙂 My mother is in charge of my Kindle account and while I don’t think she’d like me buying a book with this title, I’ll do it anyway. The reviews sound great. And I respect the views of Sheldon Lee Compton in particular ever since I read his flash fiction story “Ouroboros” in The Molotov Cocktail. Amazing. I’ll let you know what I think of the book. It will be on Kindle eventually?

    • Thank you for your comment and especially for your enthusiasm. I’m very pleased with these previews by writers and editors that I respect greatly. That goes in particular for Sheldon: even though we’re separated by time, space and culture, I have always felt a particular bond with him. When I read his stories, the humanity makes me tingle with joy.

      As for the title of my collection, I anticipate that some people may not like it. Your mother, or anyone’s mother or grandmother for that matter, won’t object to what is actually in the book, however. Quite frankly, when I picked the title (which is the title of one of the 80 stories), I figured that there would be more people likely to look at the book because of the contentious s-word.

      As for the Kindle: I strongly suspect there will be an e-formatted version of the book. Since the Kindle can be used as a reader for various formats, it should work in any case. It’s a good question however, which I need to discuss with my publisher. However, I recommend the print book, if only because it might gain in value as a collectors’ item 🙂

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  16. This is the sentence I would love to hear: “thank you fr your sperm”
    So gratifying!
    Is there a German translation of your book, I wasn’t able to find any?

    • Hi German, thank you for your comment which made me smile: “gratifying” indeed. I’m not sure I’d go down the “sperm” road for another title – It’s been too time-consuming to explain that this is NOT porn. Anyway, to answer your question: no, there is no German translation at present. Though I have translated many of the pieces myself already & several exist in parallel versions in English and German (due to my writing process in which I mix the languages frequently: you can read this & more in the interview that is also in the book). Hope this helps! Tell me if you like the book!

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