Editor, The Library of Americam Comics
Author, GENIUS, ILLUSTRATED: The Life and Art of Alex Toth

"Full disclosure up front: Both the writer and illustrator have been long-standing friends of mine for many years. That said, as a writer and editor myself, I have done my best to set my "editor hat" on top of my "friend hat" for the comments that follow ...

"That out of the way, I give SEE THEM DANCE a very strong recommendation. Melding science fiction and fantasy tropes to a story of 1950s circus life is no small task, yet Freder has created a practically-seamless fusion. Cranch, his extraterrestrial clown hero, is trapped in a world he never made (our world) -- his depiction of Earth-bound circus life and its colorful characters reflects both his knowledge of and love for that milieu -- and the menace he puts among his memorable cast has the power to surprise while evoking an almost-Lovecraft-like shudder. Freder isn't afraid to let his hero get it in the neck, and as the story thunders to its climax one wonders, "How the dickens is Cranch going to get out of THIS?" Given that Freder is no lover of sweetness-&-light endings, I can offer no guarantee that Cranch DOES get out of his predicament ...

"Though produced by a small press publisher, SEE THEM DANCE contained exactly the same number of typos as the book I had read immediately before it (written by a Big Name Author, published by a Major House). It says something when the small houses and the Major Houses have the same quality standards, but that's a topic for a different day.

"Mention should also be made of the illustrations preceding each chapter: artist Doug Thornsjo presents a series of Tarot-inspired images that not only resonate with the story being told, but also gave birth to a full deck of Tarot cards based on the novel's circus motif. Art inspiring Art? That's high praise indeed!

"Speaking of Major Publishing Houses, as I did in passing above, a smart editor at one of those Houses could benefit from checking out SEE THEM DANCE and buying the rights for release in a mass-market edition. It's a story that makes clowns at least a little less scary than their depictions in other works of fiction, and in fact bestows a touch of nobility upon their grease-painted brows amidst a vivid setting and action that is often fast, furious, and full of the sensawunder that drew so many of us to SF/F in the first place.

"As a friend, I'm proud of what these men have accomplished. As a reader, I strongly urge anyone who loves good fiction to give SEE THEM DANCE a read."