Ersatz WorldErsatz World by Richard Godwin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer:  I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


In Ersatz World, the reader is immediately drawn in by the author’s sharp narrative and incisive dialogue. Sparing of word at times, Ersatz World has a voyeuristic thread throughout, weaving characteristics of noir, erotica, bizarro and science fiction into a tableau that Mr. Godwin does brilliantly… time after time. Richard consistently delivers those stories that our own ‘dark sides’ crave, and he does it with an authority and attention to the frailty of the human condition that only one who is a master of his craft can.

Ersatz World is, among other things, a cautionary tale of man’s reliance and growing submission to technology as well a ‘primer’ on the facets of man’s psyche, which as we see here, is both self-serving and self-destructive.

While battling his own duality… devoted husband and philanderer… publisher Samuel Verso must also deal with both failing business and failing marriage. Duality is a recurring theme throughout the story as Sam struggles between the two. Can he overcome the darkness within himself?

Richard draws a chilling parallel in Ersatz World between Samuel’s need to restructure his publishing business to keep up with technology… to survive… and his wife’s need to restructure herself to satisfy something dark and primal within herself… to survive. The dichotomy at work here is unmistakable and pure Godwin.

The subtle yet not-so-subtle sexuality throughout the story has a pentagonal dimension to it. The players – Sam, Maxine, Belinda and his wife, Phyllis and her fantasy lover – form their own ‘pentagram’, if you will, and the astute reader will not miss the symbolism as the players in this little ‘fete’ do their own ‘dance with the devil’.

Throughout the story the reader is forced to ask him/herself… what is real and what isn’t?

Dark, violent and sexual, yet not without its moments of humour, Ersatz World is an insightful look at one possible future for man.

Will we heed the warning?


Thank you,

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

View all my reviews

About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found at and, and
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