Butner’s stories reach into the uncanny corners of life—where there are no job losses, just HCAPs (Head Count Allocation Procedures), where a tree might talk to just one person, where Death’s Fool is not to be ignored.
Grounded by concrete pop culture details, each strange narrative makes what’s familiar seem eerie ... While shared histories and established intimacies give many of the stories the fodder for their central conflicts, each story, no matter how strange, is also narrated in a cool, unflappable tone. Ghosts may breeze through rooms, but the ways that they’re addressed remain matter-of-fact. As a result, what’s surreal in each tale glows, even when set against unkempt and dingy settings ... Strange and evocative, the short stories of The Adventurists skip between worlds; human regrets and foibles are centered in them, regardless of the tales’ unexpected turns.
Butner’s stories are wonderfully insidious in a number of ways ... What we might call the inverted portal – one which leads to a more familiar world from an unfamiliar one – isn’t entirely new, but the sheer strangeness of the tale makes it one of the more compelling ... If not quite a new voice, Butner’s is one of the most distinctive and memorable I’ve encountered in quite a while.