My new Storyville column is now up, and in this column, I dissect one of my favorite bits of short fiction, “Maker of Flight.” Why do I love this story? Partly because it has a sweetness at its center—it’s one of the few stories of mine I can actually read to my children. Every once in awhile they’ll quote the last line, “I wonder if the sky is still blue?” back to me and it just melts my heart. I also love it because it was the winner of the 2009 “Enter the world of Filaria” contest over at ChiZine. The contest asked you to write a flash story (under 1,000 words) that was based in the world of one of their titles, Filaria, by Brent Hayward. It’s a fantastic book, and I really enjoyed this challenge. I hope you get something out of the dissection. And pick up some ChiZine titles, they do great work over there. I also loved In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay and Sarah Court by Craig Davidson.
This is a list of all of my current, live book reviews. It is in reverse
chronological order by web site. Last updated 3/22/15.
The Nervous Breakdown
In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell
Don’t Kiss Me by Lindsay Hunter
Red Moon by Benjamin Percy
Donnybrook by Frank Bill
The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones
Vampire Conditions by Brian Allen Carr
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
At-risk by Amina Gautier
May We Shed These Human Bodies by Amber Sparks
Nine Months by Paula Bomer
Little Sinners and Other Stories by Karen Brown
Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye by Paul Tremblay
My Only Wife by Jac Jemc
Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
THREATS by Amelia Gray
Ampersand, Mass by William Walsh
Damascus by Joshua Mohr
NowTrends by Karl Taro Greenfeld
The Necessity of Certain Behaviors by Shannon Cain
Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill
Short Bus by Brian Allen Carr
The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
Follow Me Down by Kio Stark
Zazen by Vanessa Veselka
Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau
Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City by Michael Bible
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch
Volt by Alan Heathcock
Normally Special by xTx
You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers
Sarah Court by Craig Davidson
The Ones That Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones
In The Mean Time by Paul Tremblay
Cut Through The Bone by Ethel Rohan
The Wilding by Benjamin Percy
Daddy’s by Lindsay Hunter
The Avian Gospels by Adam Novy
It Came From Del Rio by Stephen Graham Jones
The Physics of Imaginary Objects by Tina May Hall
Outsider Writers Collective
Emerging Writers Network
Volt (Graywolf Press) by Alan Heathcock is a linked collection of short stories. It reminded me of Knockemstiff for sure, for its rural setting, and also Sarah Court for its families overlapping, fighting and loving. The testimonial of Benjamin Percy got my attention, but the emotional truths, the revelations and understandings, the prose and the settings, kept me turning the pages, wanting more. Keep an eye on this guy, he’s the real deal. Head on over to The Nervous Breakdown for the full review.
Sarah Court (ChiZine Publications) by Craig Davidson was one of my favorite books of 2010. I’ve been reading Craig for years now, and am a big fan of The Fighter and Rust and Bone. Head on over to The Nervous Breakdown to read my review, but here’s a quick summary from the dust jacket. If you haven’t picked this up yet, by all means do. With stellar reviews from Chuck Palahniuk, Clive Barker and Peter Straub, how can you miss?
“Sarah Court. Meet the residents . . . The haunted father of a washed-up stuntman. A disgraced surgeon and his son, a broken-down boxer. A father set on permanent self-destruct, and his daughter, a reluctant powerlifter. A fireworks-maker and his daughter. A very peculiar boy and his equally peculiar adopted family.
Five houses. Five families. One block.
Ask yourself: How well do you know your neighbours? How well do you know your own family? Ultimately, how well do you know yourself? How deeply do the threads of your own life entwine with those around you? Do you ever really know how tightly those threads are knotted? Do you want to know? I know, and can show you. Please, let me show you.
Welcome to Sarah Court: make yourself at home.”