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My Top Shelf

Sadly, this author  passed away a couple of years ago. He created a complex world on both sides of the portal. The descriptions, action, consistency of the storylines and characters is flawless and with each book in the series the reader becomes more deeply involved with this fantasy world.

Hopefully the last book will be published soon so that we can better understand just what Bandworld is and have some closure. While reading these books, I was constantly trying to figure out what Bandworld was, thinking perhaps it was a dream or based on something historic. I was always waiting for John Lyon to figure it out.  But, it may not be anything other than a clever setting for a good story.

This series allows us to use our imaginations and decide just what Bandworld is for ourselves.

Not a fan of fantasy fiction? The Under the Stairs series may very well change your mind!

Top Shelf: adj.; idiomatic; orig. US ca 1892: A term used to define the best or premium grade quality: in a bar the top shelf liquor is the best and most expensive. Other expressions you may be familiar with: blue ribbon, blue chip, top drawer, top rate, top flight, first rate, great, grand, top notch.

Featured Review...


Under the Stairs, a series by

John G. Stockmyer (11 books published, 1 to come, in the series)

I have never been a fan of fantasy fiction with lands of wizards and elves, monsters and witches...not a fan until I stumbled upon this series.

Actually, I first fell in love with the "Z" Detective series by this author and while waiting for a new "Z" book to come out, I decided to try the first book in this series.

Yes, there are wizards and strange creatures and it is set in what I would equate to medieval times, but there is a different quality to this series. It is as though the author is channeling Mark Twain and his classic A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court . If Twain had made A Connecticut Yankee into a series, this would be it.

In many ways the Under the Stairs books are historical novels combined with fantasy. To get out of many predicaments in the medieval world, the hero, John Lyon has to invent processes and machines to help the people of the mythical Bandworld. The joy in reading this series comes when you can figure out what he is inventing based on your own knowledge of history. When you guess correctly it gives the reader a great sense of satisfaction

John Lyon is a small town college professor who accidently falls through a portal into Bandworld, a medieval world with various countries in it each distinguished by a colored band that appears over the country. It is as if the entire world is covered by a striped dome. Some of the countries have more gravity than others depending on where they are positioned under the dome. Others exist at the edge of the world and John Lyon and his followers whom he meets in these worlds have to learn how to cope with the changing environment of each 'band.'


This is a website for reviewing e-published books and books by "unknown" or little known authors. (Oh, from time to time I may review a book everybody's heard of but it will be one I think everybody should read!) But mostly unknown, meaning you are either a first time author, self-published author, or you haven't yet hit the display rack in the airport gift shop.