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Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden (Elfhome, #1.5)
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Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden

(Elfhome #1.5)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A free novella

Story from the Elfome unverse that takes place during Elfhome #1.

"Welcome to Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden. Today, we're tackling a common garden pest, the strangle vine." Hal Rogers grinned at Jane Kryskill's camera and motioned for her to pan right with the slightest tilt of his pith helmet.

"No way in hell," Jane murmured.
ebook, Baen Online Fiction, 100 pages
Published May 16th 2013 by Baen Books

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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  277 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good, very funny free short about a documentary film crew trying to film some of Pittsburgh's dangerous flora and fauna.
Olga Godim
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This novella is free on Baen website:
After my recent read of Wood Sprites by this author, I went back to the beginning of the series and re-read the first novel, Tinker. Then I found that Spencer has a few pieces of short fiction set in the same universe. This is one of them, and it serves as a bridge between Tinker and Wood Sprites. Several secondary characters in this story appear in either of the novels, but the protagonist is an entirely new personage, Jane, a
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal free short story at Baen.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this short story often. It has everything outright humor, action, drama & heartbreak. Occurs between Tinker's abduction & return.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 delighted stars!

How I've not read this before I don't know - it's Elfhome set, it's not just a snippet but a nice novella and it's FREE! (From Baen in their free library included in the Free Short Stories 2013 ebook. Here: )

This is set in Pittsburgh on Elfhome - if you've not read Tinker - back away and come back later. Absolutely not to be read out of order.

Gone? Good.

So remember Tinker's crash and subsequent rescue/kidnap by Riki. We're then. Jane's a
This online short story is set on the Elf world during the time that Tinker is taken captive by the crow people in the second(?) book in the series. I don't remember it at all, but there must have been a part where the media captured an image of Tinker being flown away unconscious. This story expands on that.

Jane and Hal produce a TV show called Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden where they teach people how to handle the very aggressive, often deadly flora of Elf. Hal gets himself hurt, as usual, a
Carolyn F.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was free on Baen. Another story that's listed separately but is actually part of Project Elfhome, which I already read. Good story.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think I died laughing. Then I read it again and again... Think I'll read it again now...
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another nice entry into the world of Elfhome. I cannot wait till the next book Wood Sprites
Charlie Moses
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is SUCH a great story! I particularly like Wen Spencer's books, and this novella and the one that follows it, "Chased by Monsters", told a story I really enjoyed. Happening concurrently with the events in "Tinker", the first book in the Elfhome series, we see many of the events of the novel through the eyes of our new characters, who are a really interesting bunch we quickly come to know and love. Both stories are collected in "Project Elfhome" (and note that I am employing quotes to identi ...more
A free short that takes place during Tinker's kidnapping (in "Tinker"). Copywrite on the story is 2013, after the third book was published. -- read online -- free short story collection

Jane -- the producer of a local gardening show on dealing with Elfhome's not so innocent wildlife -- ends up babysitting a network filming crew from Earth. They find a clue to Tinker's disappearance, work on forging a media presence between Pitt
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novella covers a few days in the life of Jane Kryskill, field producer of Pittsburgh's most popular TV show, and it overlaps with an event in one of the Elfhome books. (Maybe around chapter 14 of Tinker?)

I enjoyed this look back into Elfhome and a peek at its dangerous native flora and fauna, and the action was entertaining. It's hard to say much else without being spoilery, so I'll leave it at that.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the first thing I ever read by Wen Spencer and I enjoyed it enough to add the rest of the Elfhome series to my mental list of things I want to read someday. It was a fun read and I had no problems getting into the story even though I had never read Tinker.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nice side story in the Elfhome universe. Takes place during Tinker (Elfhome #1).

The book is also part in Free Short Stories 2013 and can be found at
Kathy Dalquist
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like this author. A good look at the dangerous wildlife of Elfhome and the humans that live in Pittsburgh after shutdown who go looking for it. And the reporter and cameraman who are filming the outcome.
Nicole Eatough
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the short stories Spencer has written to go along with Elfhome. Each story gives you more insight into the fabulous world she as created, and each comes with the engaging characters I have come to expect from Wen Spencer.
Ann Brookens
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love these characters! Jane is a very competent woman who has the job of keeping TV personality Hal Rogers in line and alive as he faces down Elfhome's dangerous flora and fauna. When two men from Earth are added to her responsibilities, her life becomes even more interesting.
Linda Alcorn-burg
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great short story. I liked getting to see a bit of Tinker from an outside perspective.
David Grogan
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Engaging,funny and leaves you wanting more.
Nicola Pike
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love how all the stories link together. Though this story is set during the second novel it has links to the Woodsprites.

1st read 19 Oct 2013
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
great short story about people outside the main plot but that still lives in Pittsburgh
Matthew Kent
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was hilarious however there appeared to be some continuity issues. but a very fun read
Dark Ape
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tinker/ElfHome 1.5. Takes place during abduction in vol.1.
Marie Sullivan
rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2014
David Farnsworth
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Aug 13, 2014
Susan Haseltine
rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2013
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Aug 20, 2014
Robby Delosier
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Oct 05, 2014
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John W. Campbell Award Winner Wen Spencer resides in paradise in Hilo, Hawaii with two volcanoes overlooking her home. Spencer says that she often wakes up and exclaims "Oh my god, I live on an island in the middle of the Pacific!" This, says Spencer, is a far cry from her twenty years of living in land-locked Pittsburgh.

The Elfhome series opener, Tinker, won the 2003 Sapphire Award for Best Scien

Other books in the series

Elfhome (5 books)
  • Tinker (Elfhome, #1)
  • Wolf Who Rules (Elfhome, #2)
  • Elfhome (Elfhome, #3)
  • Wood Sprites (Elfhome, #4)
  • Harbinger (Elfhome #5)