A review of Ira Nayman's It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should

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Ira Nayman's It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as It Should was published by Elsewhen Press in July 2016 (digital edition) and October 2016 (paperback).

Information about Ira Nayman:

In his past lives, Ira Nayman was, among other things: a cave painter whose art was not appreciated in his lifetime; several nameless peasants who died before their 20th birthday during the Dark Ages; a toenail fungus specialist in the court of Louis XIV; and Alan Turing’s scullery maid.

In his current incarnation, Ira is the creator of Les Pages aux Folles, a Web site of political and social satire that was 11 years old in the first week of September, 2013 (that’s positively Paleolithic in Internet years!). Three collections of Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) stories (Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used To Be, What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys and Luna for the Lunies!) which originally appeared on the Web site have been self-published in print. Two new volumes of ARNS stories – The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Market Lateralization and The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide To Sex, Love and Robots were published in 2013. Ira has produced the pilot for a radio series based on stories from the first two ARNS books; “The Weight of Information, Episode One” can be heard on YouTube.

Ira has also written a series of stories that take place in a universe where matter at all levels of organization has become conscious. They feature Antonio Van der Whall, object psychologist. To date, four of these stories have been sold. “A Really Useful Engine” has been published in Even Birds Are Chained To The Sky and Other Tales: The Fine Line Short Story Collection and “Escalation is Academic” has appeared in the anthology UnCONventional. “If the Mountain Won’t Come to Mohammed” can be found in Here Be Monsters. “Thinking is the Worst Way to Travel” has been accepted into Explorers: Beyond the Horizon. Several other stories in the series are currently awaiting editorial decisions at various publications.

Ira’s Web Goddess tells him he should make more of the fact that he won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest. So, Ira won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest.

In another life (but still within this incarnation) Ira has a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research which was conducted entirely online. He also has a PhD in Communications from McGill University. Ira taught New Media part-time at Ryerson University for five years.

Whoever created the Karmic wheel has a lot to answer for...

Click here to visit the author's Les Pages aux Folles website and click here to visit his Twitter page.

Information about It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should:

Being the fourth novel in Ira Nayman’s increasingly improperly named Transdimensional Authority series (really, would it have killed him to plan the series more in advance? George R. R. Martin planned the first 137 books in his series - it will take more generations in his family to write than the books themselves actually chronicle - before he wrote a single word, and everybody knows where they stand with him), and featuring Time Agency agent Radames Trafshanian.

When Time Agency agent Radames Trafshanian is not trying to impress her good friend in the Transdimensional Authority, her very special friend, if you know what we mean (and, if you do, could you please tell us, because we’re not entirely certain…), she is busy trying to solve crimes against time (that is, crimes that are themselves against time, not trying to solve them against time - she’s not on the clock... well, she sort of is, but you know what we mean don’t you. You don’t? Well then, you’ll have to read It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should to find out).

In this novel, which is not nearly as parenthetical as the previous paragraph may have led you to believe, we accompany Radames on her latest case, followed by her previous case (time travel’s like that) and on the way we find out much more about the origin of the Time Agency itself and why it’s organised like a Library, which is very timely (see what we did there?). Featuring guest appearances by Noomi Rapier, Elvis Presley and Margaret Atwo-.


Ira Nayman's It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should is the brilliant fourth novel in the Transdimensional Authority series of humorous science fiction novels. It's one of the funniest and most inventive humorous science fiction novels I've ever read, because the author blends elements of absurdism, satire, parody and sarcasm in a uniquely entertaining way and offers good laughs to readers who love humorous science fiction.

Before I write more about this novel, I think it's good to mention that it can be read as a standalone novel. If you're worried about not knowing anything about the previous novels, you have nothing to worry about. You don't necessarily have to know anything about the previous three novels in order to enjoy the story. It's possible that certain things may feel a bit strange and vague if you have no previous knowledge about this series and certain characters, but you'll be able to enjoy the story.

It's been a while since I've read anything as amusing as this novel, because it's difficult to find this kind of humorous and satirical science fiction. In my opinion, Ira Nayman can be seen as a one-of-a-kind author who has no rivals at this moment.

I was amazed at how fresh It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should felt when I began to read it. It's great that Ira Nayman has decided to write about the happenings from the point of view of a new protagonist, because it brings plenty of freshness to the Transdimensional Authority series. In the previous novels the protagonists have been Noomi Rapier and Crash Chumley, but now Time Agency agent Radames Trafshanian takes her place in the spotlight.

What makes this novel especially interesting is that it is in equal parts a small town novel, a satirical/parodical novel and a science fiction novel. All of the different elements are in good balance and together they form a highly enjoyable and original story.

Here's a bit of information about the story:

- In the beginning, Time Agency Agent Radames Trafshanian meets Elvis Presley. Elvis thinks that he has made a deal with Lucifer about living forever, but instead he has made a deal with a minor demon called Gorgon Zola who has transported him to the end of the universe. Radames explains that its her job to collect everybody who has been scammed by the demon. Elvis hears that he can't be sent back to his own time, because he has no soul...

- Dingle Dell is a place where nothing much happens of interest to anyone outside of the town, but things are about to change. Molly Holtzschlag works as a teacher at William Dexter High and experiences something strange when her dead husband, who has been a math teacher, appears to her and causes amazement. Soon Jefferson Lickspottle, who works at Dingle Dell's hardware store, meets a younger version of himself who claims to work at the store. These two incidents are the beginning of a chain of strange events in the town...

- Soon Radames Trafshanian travels to Dingle Dell and begins to investigate what has happened...

This is the beginning of a humour-filled science fiction story featuring eccentric characters and strange happenings.

The characterisation works well, because Ira Nayman wonderfully highlights the eccentricity and quirkiness of the characters by writing about what they do and how they react to changes in their lives. The characters have their own lives, problems and feelings that they try to deal with as well as they can.

Radames Trafshanian is an interesting protagonist. The author writes fluently about what kind of a person she is, what she does in her free time and how she does her investigations.

Glimpses into Radames' private life and feelings reveal quite a lot about her. I enjoyed reading about how she felt about a certain someone and how she dealt with her feelings. (I'm not going to mention here who this certain someone is, so you'll have to read the whole story in order to find out who this person is.)

It's great that this novel features a guest appearance by Elvis Presley, because it fleshes out the peculiar story. It's also nice that the stars of the previous novels, Noomi Rapier and Crash Chumley, appear in the story, because I've enjoyed reading about them.

Reading about Elvis was especially interesting for me. Elvis was a bit shocked and amazed by what he had experienced, because he found himself in a whole new place and his life had changed a lot. He had never seen any aliens or computers before, so many things were new to him. I found myself being wholly amused by his appearance in this novel, because the author's take on him felt wonderfully fresh and lacked all the annoying clichés that are often mentioned when somebody writes about him. I'll also mention that I enjoyed reading about the witch, Goodwhin Spellchuck, because she was an intriguing minor character.

Extraordinary happenings and things have been an essential part of this series ever since the beginning and they're also an essential part of this novel. It was delightful to see that the author was once again in excellent form and continued to mesmerise his readers with strange things. In this novel, people being plucked out of their own time is a fresh and exciting concept, which the author explores in his own unique way. The visit to the Sparkling City of Digitaleusia is also handled well and I enjoyed reading about it.

The author's decision to write about strange occurrences in a small town called Dingle Dell brings freshness to the story. Dingle Dell is a normal small town where nothing really happens, but all of a sudden it becomes a stage for strange incidents that need urgent investigation by the Time Agency.

Just like in the previous novels, philosophical elements are hidden under layers of sharp humour and stinging dialogues that form the basis for the humorous narrative. Some of these elements may not be easy to notice, but careful and intelligent readers will be able to spot them. There are also a couple of hidden words of wisdom in this novel.

I like Ira Nayman writing style, because he has his own unique way of writing about the characters and the happenings. He boldly writes his own kind of fiction and stays true to his own style. It's possible that it may take a while for newcomers to his fiction to get used to his writing style, but once you get used to it and know what to expect from it, I can guarantee that you'll most likely be totally hooked by it and will find it difficult to stop reading the story.

I admire Ira Nayman's sharp sense of humour and his ability to write original stories, because he never seems to run out of ideas. It's great that he has a gift of adding amusing references to popular culture, because only a few authors are capable of doing so. Although this novel will amuse many readers, I think that readers who have plenty of knowledge of the world around them will especially enjoy it (the more you know about life, people, history and popular culture, the more you'll enjoy this novel).

In this novel, Ira Nayman writes about famous persons, songs and films in a delightfully sharp and witty way. It's simply amazing how well he writes about these things, because he doesn't let the story become stale, but keeps things fresh. For example, he refers amusingly to Beatles, Elvis films, David Cronenberg and The Wizard of Oz.

It was fun for me to read about what happened when Fred Fleegle, the reporter for the Dingle Dell Daily Potash and Rhytmist, began to use a laptop in the Dingle Dell Library Teaching and Learning Centre. In my opinion, the author describes perfectly how he doesn't fully understand what's going on and interprets everything in his own way. It was also fun to follow how Gerald McOinkoink, Molly Holtzschlag's husband, got used to his new life and tried to find employment.

If you're familiar with the works of Douglas Adams, you're in for a real treat when you begin to read It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should. In my opinion, Ira Nayman can be seen as a modern equivalent to Douglas Adams, because his humour is similar to Adams' humour. The most significant difference between these two authors is that Ira Nayman's humour is more daring and far more satirical. Nothing is sacred for him, because he makes fun of many things and doesn't try to please everyone with humour.

Perhaps the best way to describe Ira Nayman's humour is to say that his humour feels like an exotic blend of Douglas Adams, Joe Keenan, Stephen Fry, Tom Sharpe, Rhys Hughes and David Sedaris. These six authors came to my mind when I read the story, because the author's humour is akin to their sense of humour and satire.

The appendixes at the end of this novel ('Frequently Unasked Questions about the Time Agency', 'Discovery in Strange Places: The Jemimah Axelfusion Story', 'Alternate Versions of Scene 37C Fuchsia' and 'Never Meet Your Heroes: Interviews with the Historical Figures') are marvellous in their comic splendour. They're among the most amusing appendixes I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

I won't go into details about what these appendixes contain, but as an example I can mention that 'Frequently Unasked Questions about the Time Agency' provides readers information about the Time Agency in a funny way. This appendix will be especially useful to newcomers who have never read anything by the author. I'll also mention that 'Never Meet Your Heroes: Interviews with the Historical Figures' features interesting interviews with Shakespeare, Joan of Arc and Ira Nayman.

If you haven't yet discovered the hilarity of Ira Nayman's novels, I strongly recommend taking a look at It's Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should, because it's a fantastic, inventive and entertaining novel for readers who want to laugh out loud while reading a novel. It will please fans of humorous, whimsical and satirical science fiction, because it's a charmingly amusing novel.

Excellent humorous science fiction!