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Mark Rayner
Alpha Max: An Existential Romp through an Absurd Multiverse
In Alpha Max, Professor Maximilian Tundra must overcome an existential crisis of cosmic scope, learn to work with his annoying doubles, and save all existence from destruction. Fans of the humorous science fiction of Douglas Adams and the dark humor and satire of Kurt Vonnegut will love this metaphysical romp through the multiverse.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: This funny, quirky story takes readers on a rip-roaring adventure across multiple universes. The plot is complex yet maintains interest throughout, and the author displays a wonderfully creative imagination evident as Max navigates his varied and challenging journey.

Prose: This work has a superb opening line that is indicative of the writer's humorous and engaging writing style. What follows is an entertaining and nuanced series of escapades that the author unfolds in a paced and balanced manner.

Originality: This is a highly original work and a pleasure to read.

Character Development/Execution: The author does a great job with character development, primarily with Max, the title character, but also with his various iterations.

Date Submitted: June 23, 2022

Amazing Stories

"Snarky as Pratchet, insightful as Stephenson, as full of scathing social commentary as Swift or Voltaire, and weirdly reminiscent of LeGuin, Alpha Max is the only multiverse novel you need this month, or maybe ever."


"In ALPHA MAX Mark A. Rayner tells an absurdly amazing story about self-discovery during a multiversal adventure to save every universe. Told with a blend of adult humor, slapstick and a dose of seriousness, this riotously entertaining read is loaded with many compelling and complicated subplots and a perfect read for fans of weird yet captivating science fiction, offering a fantastic spin on tales of alternate universes and time travel."

Reedsy Discovery

"Alpha Max is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. Max Tundra’s life gets swept up in an intergalactic, multiversal plot to remake the universe sans entropy and yet, that looming deadline doesn’t matter. Instead, what is important is what Max learns about himself and how he matters.

“This is a funny book. From Max’s encounters with his other selves to the flat-out bizarre adventures he finds himself on, I had a hard time not laughing and enjoying myself. Every page presented a new situation in which something funny would happen, or one of the Maxes would speak, and I would find myself having a laugh at his expense."


The Book Commentary

"Mark A. Rayner writes in gorgeous prose and has a unique gift for plot ... and creating characters that are rock-solid and relatable." –Matthew Novak