My short story, “Sunsets in Sunny Gardens,” has now appeared in the latest I-70 Review. Thanks to Gary, Maryfrances, Jan and Greg for accepting it. I received my copy in the mail this week and it looks fantastic.
The story opens:
One evening in New York, Lina Meruane’s body “seize[s] up” and leaves her “paralyzed, [her] sweaty hands clutching at the air.” Just as she reaches to her purse to pick up an insulin shot, a “firecracker” goes off in her head: “That was the last thing I would see, that night, through the eye: a deep, black blood.” The stroke leaves her vision damaged, and the rest of Seeing Red, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, concerns how Lina, a writer and doctoral student, copes with losing and trying to reclaim her sight. Every day threads of blood continue to cloud her vision. “Being like this, in a fog,” she says, “is like being asleep and awake at the same time.” In the aftermath, Lina is unable to put pen to paper.
I particularly liked that the CR stuck the review in both their fiction and nonfiction sections. Clever—and the exact right move for this book, which straddles the two categories.
WatchOS 3 has the benefit of a year or so of actual user data behind it, and it shows. Apple had ideas about how people might or should use the watch, and now it’s tweaking those ideas based on things that people are actually doing.
I like, but have been underwhelmed by, my watch. I’m hopeful this can fix a large portion of the issues. Remapping the side button is a big improvement; it’s basically worthless right now. It’s also frustrating that there are not more complications, and that complications that should be useful—like MLB AtBat—rarely work or update quickly enough.
The new issue of Anomaly Lit, featuring my story “The Thing Speaks For Itself,” just came out, and it looks fantastic. “Thing Speaks” is an older story that I reworked a bit before submitting to Anomaly, reworking some sections that had previously never quite felt right. It’s a bleak little piece, but from the tenor of the other pieces in this edition of Anomaly it seems to fit right in.
The editors at Anomaly also asked me to participate in a podcast and talk a bit about the story and my style. I hadn’t done anything like that before, so it was the source of much hand wringing, but I was eventually able to answer a couple questions in (I hope) a coherent fashion.
Thanks for the editors (Lorcán, Roseanna, Oliver and Joseph) for accepting the piece and allowing it to be in such a great journal. (The photography really is fantastic.)
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼You can read the story online here.
The best part is the bringing in the “SCOTUScare” line. Funny for law nerds everywhere, and Scalia fans or haters alike.
Issue 9 of Pulp Literature, featuring a story by yours truly, is currently available for download and purchase. I’m elated to have the story see the light of day in such an excellent publication—and with such great illustrations, to boot! I’m also excited to read several of the other stories, as well.
Here’s just small bit from the beginning of the story, if you are interested:
Ruth is floating. Through the observational porthole of the Inter- national Orbiting Space Station, she watches the Shackleton — a ship almost as big as the station itself — draw silently closer. On the window a thin caul of condensation has developed. She wipes it away to get a better look. Docking is a sort of breathless process, fraught with the potential for a myriad things to go wrong. In this case it is all the more difficult as ships like the Shackleton are, technically, never supposed to dock at the IOSS. Ruth’s pulse quickens.
You can buy it here.
My review of Salman Rushdie’s latest novel is online at the Lincoln Journal-Star and in today’s (Sunday’s) paper. It starts:
In all that has been written about him, no one has accused Salman Rushdie of lacking imagination. The author of the Booker Prize-winning “Midnight’s Children,” one of the past century’s great novels, as well as “The Satanic Verses,” the novel that brought a fatwa upon him, Rushdie has showed immense creative power.
Over a little less than 300 pages, his new novel, “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights,” continues his impressive and inspired record, bursting with stories, anecdotes, ideas, outlandish characters, clever and bawdy jokes, verve and wit.
I quite liked the novel, although some parts were more impressive than others—but the parts that were good were really, really good.
There are many brilliant bits of this novel, and Franzen remains one of the country’s most gifted writers. His psychological acuity may be unmatched, at least among living American writers, and he deserves credit for squarely taking on the political — often territory even brave writers avoid. Because he is on his own level, his books demand a keener, and even more critical, eye. “Purity” thus feels more like a retreat into his older work, the great but less compelling books “The Twenty-Seventh City” and “Strong Motion.” In the giant shadow of his last two tomes, perhaps, “Purity” has a harder time shining much of a light.
As I’m always looking for recommendations myself, I thought I would post up a few things art-wise that I’ve been enjoying lately. I’ll probably make this a series.