PositiveColorado State University Center for Literary PublishingAlien Stories is a winking allegory that invites readers to look anew at foreignness and perhaps see something reflective in its unfamiliar sheen. Most of Osondu’s stories are feats of reduction: in order to achieve the feel of a fable, he frequently strips his stories’ necessary elements down to the bare minimum ... As if playing in a microcosmic sandbox, Osondu builds little worlds with just enough substance to snap together a resonant moment or a resounding message ... While some readers may find these stories repetitive and their minimality to appear underdeveloped, they’re the work of a writer in careful control of his prose. Independently, these stories read like fanciful parables, but together they commingle in sly layers. Tonally, Alien Stories smirks with the kooky erudition of vintage McSweeney’s. They’re thoughtful delights you’d find in a few pages of your favorite new literary journal, entertaining morsels that invite a laugh and a quick ponder. George Saunders often comes to mind ... While we might grapple through generalizations in search of a way to anchor these stories, Osondu skips past that comfort, and this is one of the collection’s most important clues. While deeply entrenched in themes of otherness, Osondu repeatedly finds ways to tell stories about humanity that transcend place and race, adrift in a space just beyond classification.