A few months back, my close friend, Sandra Shattuck, interviewed me for Pima Community College’s Community of Writing series. We talk about writing, ecology, educational economics, teaching, science fiction, and more. I discuss some of my stories, too. It was fun to think about Sandra’s prompts and I’m so grateful to her Southwest Literature students for their questions about my story, “A Heliograph of Kin Kletso,” which will be in Weber: The Contemporary West Fall 2020. Thanks to Sandra and Dan at PCC for making this happen!
My flash fiction piece, “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” is featured on The Arcanist. It’s also on Tales from The Arcanist, the corresponding podcast available right on the page with the story or via Spotify.
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” is a short, uncomfortable moment from the future, a piece of science fiction imagining how the mundane will prevail forever. Nothing to do with cowbell. It’s only 650 words, so check it out.
Thanks so much to The Arcanist for sharing my story. They send one story a week right to your inbox if you subscribe.
My first review with Full Stop is of Farooq Ahmed’s novel, Kansastan (7.13 Books; 2019). The novel recreates Civil War-era Kansas as Muslim society, with most of the action taking place in and around a rural mosque. They’re going to war with Missouri. The narrator is the most narcissistic scrub of all time and the world is out to humiliate him again and again in hilarious fashion. The novel isn’t like anything I’ve read before.
Get a copy of Kansastan here.
Gregorio Tafoya, editor of Little Rose Magazine, read my story in Hobart (Hari Kari) and dug it enough that he invited me to contribute something to his site. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to share my story, Everyday Augury. I found plenty of interesting reads on Little Rose, so check them out.
Everyday Augury takes place in Wal-Mart and involves soothsaying. Hope you dig it.
John Englehardt’s Bloomland is a novel about a massacre at a rural college told in second person and focusing on three characters, a student, a professor, and the shooter. This book is not for the weak-hearted. It is a tough read, but Englehardt writes the student, Rose, and the professor, Eddie, so real you feel like you know them beyond the book. They could be you. Eli, the shooter, feels a little more constructed from journalism. Overall, once you get used to almost every pronoun being “you” for an entire novel, this book pulls you in.
This is the last paragraph from my review:
Bloomland is a powerful, ambitious novel that bravely takes on one of the most perplexing, terrifying, and uniquely American phenomena—the school shooting. The novel won the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction, a reflection of both craft and thematic relevance. One can only hope future readers will pick up Englehardt’s novel to understand an idiosyncratic period of our history when we abjured our safety and the lives of our children. For now, perhaps Eddie and Rose and their suffering will indict us through empathy so that we work toward a nation where Bloomland is truly fiction.
You can read the whole review on Heavy Feather Review here.
Thanks to Hobart (Hobartpulp.com) for publishing my wacky short story, “Hari Kari.” It’s the tale of a man who may repeat his mistakes, but at least he has guts.
The new print edition of Rain Taxi features my review of Anne-Marie Kinney‘s new novel, Coldwater Canyon. It’s kind of a Hollywood noir story told from the perspective of a stalker. Unsettling and compelling. As you can read in my review, I enjoyed it.
You can read the review from Rain Taxi. (You gotta buy it; it’s the print edition).
Buy Coldwater Canyon here.
I remember reading The Worcester Review in Tatnuck Booksellers in the mid-nineties as an undergrad at Assumption College and thinking it would be cool to see words I wrote in print. It only took me twenty years, but my story, Swamp Yankee, is in volume 39 of The Worcester Review. It’s a story about a man defending his herd of alpacas from a mysterious predator while a ghost stalks him from the underbrush of his memory. It takes place in Worcester County and it feels good to publish it back home.
Manifest West: Transitions and Transformations is the Fall 2018 installment in this series from Western Press Books. I’m happy to say that my story, Ponderosa, is featured among so many other great stories. As a wanderer named Phillip and his dog Osa explore a Ponderosa pine forest on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim, the lines between Phillip’s interior and exterior worlds are blurred. I learned a lot about pine forest ecology while writing it.
This edition also includes a story from my good friend, Lisa Levine, as well as Arizona poets Mark Haunschild and Cynthia Hogue.