My review of Night in the Sun, the second short story collection by US writer Kyle Coma-Thompson, has been published at Full Stop.
I first read Coma-Thompson in The White Review. His story ‘Spite & Malice’ was the last or second to last piece in the issue and I almost skipped it because I subscribe to Borges’s belief that you don’t need to have a read all of a thing to have read a thing (I’m misinterpreting him as an excuse for my laziness). The story blew me away and I made a mental note to read more by this writer. In a curious twist of fate (as far as curious twists of fate go in an age when impressions of surprise and delight at short stories are expressed on social media), Coma-Thompson emailed me a few days later asking if I wanted to read the collection that ‘Spite & Malice’ was from. See the review for my thoughts.
Big thanks to Jesse for editorial guidance and giving it a home.
The universe is recorded on a VHS tape playing in the basement of a pristine yet empty apartment block in a Chinese ghost town the size of Birmingham. The town is serviced by one man. Instead of smoking all day under a tree in the middle of the widest boulevard, he is crippled by the size of his task. When he moved to the town, the serviceman brought a rainbow finch with him. One morning, the cage was empty. Sometimes he can hear the echo of the finch’s whistling in the narrow alleyways between apartment blocks. The only shop in operation in the town is a liquor store run by a Russian woman in a leather jacket and with hair the colour of polar ice. The door chimes with an electronic cymbal clash when the serviceman enters and exits or when the woman steps out to get some fresh air. She thinks the easiest thing to do would be to burn the whole thing down but who could she tell? Who would listen? Also in the basement is a fragment of a meteorite and a Citroën 2CV that nobody has the key for. In one of the bedrooms in one of the apartments is a commission by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Packs of stray dogs enter the town at dusk and speakers in all the public squares play The Rite of Spring on repeat. Werner Herzog is visiting soon but nobody knows when and the billboard advertising his visit spells his name “Verner”.
My experimental essay/reading of Zero K, Don DeLillo’s latest novel, is now up at 3:AM Magazine. Yeah, yeah – more fragmentary writing. It couldn’t be avoided, I promise (and more is on the way). This is me having another try at what I attempted with my reading diary for The Scofield‘s Kay Boyle issue.
Big thanks to my 3:AM crew for the edits and for humouring me.
My short story Then god; or, the daily torments of the devil has been published by Dead King Magazine.
The devil is not lonely.
Thanks to Penny.
I was fortunate enough to put eight questions to Yuri Herrera about his writing, translation and the spaces his stories occupy for 3:AM Magazine. Yuri is the author of Trabajos del reino, Signs Preceding the End of the World – winner of the 2016 Best Translated Book Award – and The Transmigration of Bodies, which is due from And Other Stories any minute now.
With thanks to Yuri, of course, for his time and attention, and to Nicky from AOS.
My short story Selected passages from the diary of P has been published by Fanzine.
The story is related, directly, formally, to my writing on Kay Boyle in The Scofield, and thematically to Hellhole, published by Black Sun Lit. I think. I don’t know; the story meets, to my mind, at a point somewhere between the two.
With thanks to Blake Butler.
Over at 3:AM I interviewed Susan Tomaselli and Christodoulos Makris, good folk and editors of gorse, a Dublin-based literary journal. It’s been in the works for a while now, but we were able to get it ready just in time for Bloomsday 2016. Nice, too, that the interview contained some welcome news about their future plans.
Thanks to Susan and Christodoulos for their time and care.