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Publisher's Summary

Back when I started this project, I was thinking what the heck, writing a few short stories will keep me fresh, let me try things I might not try otherwise, act as a sketch book of my story ideas: the funny, the weird, the scary, the sappy, and sometimes all of that mashed up together. 

Well, two years later, I had no idea how proud I would be of this body of work, and how genuinely psyched I am to be sharing these stories with you in this format. Going through these again for production, I felt like a proud papa, gathering up all my little babies, or like I was collecting a bag of gems. 

Wow, I just wrote “bag of gems” in all seriousness, like it’s a totally everyday phrase, like I might find myself out on horseback in some medieval European country and have the need to reach into my little leather sack for a gem to purchase an entire village.  

©2019 Rob Dircks (P)2019 Rob Dircks

What listeners say about Listen to the Signal: Short Stories, Volume 1

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Optimistic scifi - get yours here!

There is no one writing scifi as well as Rob Dircks right now, and this short story collection proves it. I listened to all of these stories when they originally came out on his podcast, and was blown away every time by the quality of his writing and his mastery of the short story form. He knows the tropes and how to subvert them. He can build a world in a few paragraphs so that you understand it intuitively. He creates characters that are uniquely relatable and gosh darn it, he's funny to boot. That is when he is not making me tear up. Add to all that the fact that he does a terrific job narrating his own stories and you have a very appealing package. But now that I have been able to re-listen to all the stories again via this collection, hearing them all together rather than strung out over a series of months, I perceived something I had not noticed before. Something that unites not only these stories but also his novels. Something special that only Rob Dircks can deliver. It's a sweetness, a love of life and humanity, that shines through all of his characters and all of his imaginary worlds. I feel instantly better when I finish something he has written, I feel uplifted and hopeful. What a wonderful gift Rob has to allow us to see the good in one another, and how lucky we are that he is sharing it with us through his art. Can't wait for the next collection.

9 people found this helpful

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never want them to end.

man I just love Rob's writing and narration. so many great stories and ideas oh, I can't wait for the next full book.

4 people found this helpful

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Small stories, big fun!

This is a great selection of short stories written by one of my favorite sci-fi/comedy authors, Rob Dircks. As a bonus, he also narrates the audio version. In some cases, an author reading his own work can seriously be all kinds of tragic, but with Rob Dircks, he knows exactly the timing and snark to add to enhance the stories. I found every one of the stories in this "bag of gems" to be imaginative, entertaining, and well worth my time. My favorites were "End Game", with its apocalyptically popular video game and "Purgatory", which was just a little familiar, but with some nerdy twists. There was also the laugh out loud "Their DNA Was No Longer the Same", which my son made me play twice in the car, just because. (It looks like you have a new fan in the millenial crowd, Rob!) I have yet to read anything written by Rob Dircks that wasn't wildly enjoyable and didn't take itself too seriously. I certainly hope more volumes of these cool little stories are on their way soon, because I can't wait to geek out on every single one of them.

3 people found this helpful

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Fun and thoughtful Sci-Fi

I love Twilight Zone and Dark Matter. But this is different and a welcome addition. Dircks has a much more fun and sometimes softer style, but he doesn’t lose that mind-bending twist and turn feeling. Really well done. Narration and overall audio packaging is solid.

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  • DJ
  • 03-04-19

Great series of listens for short trips.

Knowing how much I've enjoyed delving into Rob Dircks mind scratching and humorous novels, I was psyched to discover this collection of short stories - all less than a half hour. They're perfect for when I'm waiting at the doctor's office or on a shorter car ride. I was a big fan of the TV series, The Twilight Zone and these have that same feel, leaving me with something to chew on for a while. One of my favorite stories was Dako - a bit of a mind twister with a lot of heart. Totally worth the purchase!

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Excitingly different

Loved it. Totally not what we expected but worth the listen. The creativity of the stories had us hooked from the start

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This explains so much

A faulty probability modulator explains so much about the last 4 years. Thanks Rob for explaining 2020. Even though this was published in early 2019! How did he know???

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great short stories that held my interest!

I will have to get more of this series -- fun to listen to and are the perfect length for car trips to/from the office and around town.

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Best thing since Twilight Zone

I loved these stories. It was like watching the original series of the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling. All the stories make you think about what is going on and then have that really interesting twist at the end. I'm thinking that Rob Dircks is the modern day Rod Serling of short stories!

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  • M.
  • 02-18-20

Fascinating collection of work!!!

Wow - a collection of food for thought. Adventures, insight. Fantastic narration! Entertaining. What an interesting person to create such a diverse collection of work on such a variety of subjects.

1 person found this helpful