Here I post thoughts, memories, stories, novels, plays, essays, reading lists, genealogical research, info about ebooks for sale, and matters of interest to friends and family. This isn't your typical web. It's meant to be idiosyncratic and fun. I always welcome feedback and suggestions.
I am finally in a position to write fiction full-time. All six of my recently published novels (Parallel Lives, Beyond the 4th Door, Nevermind, Breeze, Shakespeare's Twin Sister, and To Gether Tales) overlap and echo in interesting ways, with stories inside stories and touches of magical realism and alternate history. This is not by intent, but rather that all of them grew from my life experiences and from exploring themes that matter to me. They can be read in any order. They are independent stories, with stylistic and thematic overlaps. Each creates a different view of reality, a different way of trying to understand the mysteries of life. All Things That Matter published all of those in 2020 - 2022. They will also soon publish Echoes from the Attic, which I co-wrote with Ethel Kaiden. I just finished writing two other novels The Bard of Eastport and We Met in Ithaca. I am looking for a publisher for those and for a book of essays (Untrammeled Thoughts. There is no Box), a collection of over 4000 jokes (Laugh and let Laugh), three picture books (Sign Me Up, How to Ride a Cow, and God Never Made Little Green Mammals), as well as a new edition of my Lizard of Oz and Other Stories.
I'm also the publisher of Seltzer Books, with over 14,000 time-tested books in ebook format, available for sale through Barnes & Noble (Nook), Kobo, Apple, Google Play, and PublishDrive. Earlier, I published entire libraries of books on CD and DVD primarily for the blind, who used "screen readers" to convert the text to voice. (This included a 4-DVD set with over 20,000 books for just $149). I also made a quixotic attempt to build and run my own ebook store, Quench, trying to single-handedly compete with the likes of Amazon. My publishing company was originally known as B&R Samizdat Express and consisted of just my wife Barbara (B) and me Richard (R). Samizdat means "self-published" in Russian. Barbara died in 2012, and I recently got an offer that I couldn't refuse for the domain name samizdat.com. So I am now rebuilding the web site as seltzerbooks.com
In the early days of the Web, I worked for Digital Equipment's Internet Business Group as their "Internet evangelist." When the company was swallowed by Compaq (which was later swallowed by Hewlett-Packard) I worked independently as an Internet marketing consultant, writing extensively about business on the Internet. Many of the books, articles, and speeches I wrote back then are available here. My AltaVista Search Revolution was the first consumer-oriented book about search engines. Library Journal, called it "indispensable". My Web Business Boot Camp was a pioneering guidebook for Internet start-ups .It is now available for free at this website.
My original samizdat.com web site, which I used as a sandbox to test ideas about the Web, has been preserved by the Internet Archive as part of their Wayback Machine. They have stored 666 versions of that web site, captured from November 1996 to September 2017. This link takes you to the part of the archive that is devoted to samizdat.com. Select the date you are interested in; then you can browse the archive the same as you do the live web, clicking on link after link. Everything from the web site is there, including all the issues of my Internet-on-a-Disk newsletter and the hundreds of articles from my blog. (They now archive seltzerbooks.com as wellSeltzer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter twitter.com/SeltzerBooks
My author page at Amazon
My author page at Goodreads
My blog at Goodreads
List of my published books
Medium account with 200+ stories, essays, and poems
YouTube videos of me reading some of my stories
Web sites of All Things That Matter Press Authors
Websites of Twitter friends
Youtube videos me
reading some of my stories and excerpts from my novels.
Stories and Other Stuff by Richard Seltzer includes all of them
First Chapters of Novels by Richard Seltzer
Stories from To Gether Tales
The Lizard of Oz, complete, chapter by chapter
Children's Stories [overlaps with Lizard of Oz]
This bittersweet comedy and romance has touches of tragedy and magic.
Writing during the pandemic and
feeling nostalgia for what has been lost, the narrator, Abe,
recounts stories told around the dinner table on a Caribbean
cruise two years before.
Abe explains the title:
"I'm writing from the midst of this crisis, not with the wisdom of hindsight. Even if it gets no worse than it is right now, much has been lost.
"I'm hoping that we can gether. That's a word that isn't in the dictionary.
"To gether is to find new ways to be together, new ways to meet, to bond, to love.
"Even when physically isolated, we can come together in spirit, to share experiences and emotions to the point that we are intimately connected.”
"In any case, may we always treasure our normal life, knowing, as we now know, that it is fragile and should never be taken for granted."
On one level, To Gether Tales is a collection of stories told around a dinner table. But it's also a novel, in which themes echo from one story to another and tellers both disguise and reveal themselves through what they say, all woven together in the frame of the narrator.
first review --
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2022
refreshing antidote to the struggles borne of the pandemic,
politics and threatening conflicts that haunt our daily lives.
Richard Seltzer’s “To Gether
Tales” takes us on an unusual ocean cruise that elevates our
spirits and counteracts the current climate of cynicism and
despair. Captivating, intimate and
poignant stories brimming with romance, friendship, warmth,
and humor bring a group of voyagers together. Seltzer's
inventive and engrossing writing enables us to join the
journey and participate as if we were on board, ourselves. We
disembark feeling enchanted, renewed
-- her coming-of-age story, posing as a boy to get an education,
-- twins separated at birth sorting out the mystery of their otherworldly connection to one another,
-- a lifelong three-way love story,
-- soul projection and transference linking individuals to one another and connecting past to present,
-- and the story of a young reporter who falls in love with the soul he finds in the body of an old and dying woman.
As a cross-dressing sword-fighting teenager, Kate beats Mercutio, captain of the King's Musketeers, in a duel in Paris.
As Will's double and writing partner, Kate enables him to do the work of two geniuses.
This outlandish view of Shakespeare's life and times stays true to the facts, while presenting explanations that are intriguingly plausible.
Like Shakespeare in Love, this is a humorous, romantic take on Shakespeare the man.
Like Yentl, a brilliant young woman finds creative ways to succeed in a man-dominated world.
Amazon reviews --
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Double World was a Stage
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2021
Richard Seltzer’s story, Shakespeare’s Twin Sister, is a clever insightful romp.
We first encounter Kate as Lettie, a 99-year-old woman in a nursing home, 1987.
Her personality transforms and she tells her “real” story to a young journalist, Bill Greene.
He, in turn, retells a surprisingly plausible tale of Kate’s multiple identities (male and female) as Shakespeare’s twin sister.
Apparently, Kate played a large role in the writing of the famous works.
Not only that, but she is an arch feminist in men’s clothing with longings of her own.
The book is full of good humor – the Arden family quotes lines from Shakespeare’s play in their daily banter.
The titles are fun too – “If You Incest!”
Read this novel – it’s a mind-bending hoot!