"Thank You For Your Sperm" is a collection of 80 short and very short stories, which writer John Minichillo calls "short brilliant playful poetic blasts: a baby's first word is 'Hitler', the Greek God Mars donates his divine seed to a fertility clinic, a portal turns spiders into flowers, The Serious Writer buys an iPad, a mother burns, an autistic child listens. Marcus Speh, a German writer living in Germany, has a better command of English than just about anyone. His short pieces are sometimes personal, often poignant, and always perfect."
"In conclusion, I offer all the usual praise: no words wasted; no gratuitous action or shock for shock's sake; nothing but excellent craft and imagination. [...] you will find yourself picking this book up again and again, flipping the pages, searching for a sentence or phrase where Speh said it so well, or that story you didn't quite get, that character you want to revisit - how did he put it? - different for everyone, for somehow, it seems, he said it with you there in the room." --Derek Osborne, 'Gertrude's Flat'
From the Inside Flap
«Marcus Speh is a thrilling writer, an international force, a swashbuckler and cafe quick sketch artist, a boulevardier, a man of many faces (and at one point, dual literary personalities) who takes chances, gets laughs, raises hackles or metaphysical questions, challenges everything, upsets carts and still makes the world a finer, funnier, more poignant place with his gifts. He is deeply, widely read, and what was called, in the days of Randall Jarrell, a man of letters. Highly recommended!» --James Robison, author ofThe Illustrator
«There are many things than can be said about Marcus Speh, but the most important is that Marcus Speh writes well-a rarity in these times where so many people call themselves writers but so few know how to write with authority, care, style, or craft. Part Italo Calvino, part Karl Kraus, wholly himself, Speh is a serious writer-riddled with comic genius. His stories, fables, flash fiction, mock memoirs, prose poems, and Surrealist romps sparkle with indelible dialogue and shine with a high polish. Thank You for Your Sperm, his rich first collection, is, to coin a phrase, Speh- tacular!» --Bill Yarrow, author of Pointed Sentences
From the Back Cover
"To read Thank You for Your Sperm is to embark on an extended journey where nothing at all goes as planned, yet everything, every chance meeting and wrong turn and misadventure somehow, gloriously, morphs into the miraculous. This collection is a wonder, the product of one of the most original and startling minds operating in literary fiction today. Read this book, take the journey, but proceed slowly. Breathe deep. Miss nothing." --Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life and Together We Will Bury It
"Speh's magic is in his ability to color the tiny details. His ideas come from secret nooks of the mind and he moves them through prose at abstract and delightful angles. As you read, one feels caught up in a master's mechanism; a machine that doles both wonder and sadness in measures abound." --Frank Hinton, editor of Metazen and author of Action, Figure
"Marcus Speh's new collection of flash fiction Thank You For Your Sperm hits like a thrill-seeking cluster bomb of insight, wit, and weirdness, aimed at every heart in every time zone. Duck and cover and read this book." --Jürgen Fauth, founder of Fictionaut and author of KINO
About the Author
Born in 1963 in the German vinelands of Rhineland-Palatine, Marcus Speh went to a school where he had to learn Latin and Ancient Greek, served in the army as a paratrooper, trained as a sniper, studied physics in Germany, fell in love in Dutch and Spanish, helped create the World-Wide Web, worked for multinational corporations, lived in Italy, England and New Zealand, trained as a psychotherapist, got married and divorced and married again, and finally returned to Germany where he lives now, teaching at a business school as a tenured professor of information systems and researching online learning.
Speh wanted to be a writer since he learnt to write at age four, put that idea on ice for a good long time (with regularly recurring periods of grief and self-loathing over not writing), broke away from the normal life of a non-writer at age 38, published his first story online with the then brand new literary e-zine Metazen in 2009 using the nom de plume Finnegan Flawnt, went on publishing more than 100 short stories in various venues, was nominated for a Micro Award, two Pushcart Prizes, two Best of the Net awards and two Million Writers Awards, was shortlisted for The Reader Berlin's short story competition, and longlisted for the Paris Literary Prize.
Speh is an active member of several writing communities, has an avatar in the virtual world of Second Life, blogs fiercely and always has a new project running, like the now-legendary Kaffe in Katmandu, or the 100 Days And Nights 1000 Years ago. Despite his strong virtual presence, which has generated doubts if he exists at all, Speh maintains a body on the physical plane and is a devoted father and husband. He lives with his family in Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg, near a large selection of fine coffee houses and writers. They have no pets since their hamster died.