Category Archives: News

“All About Books.”

aabpodcasttThis Thursday, June 2, I’ll be on NET Radio’s All About Books talking about what makes One Book One Lincoln selection Being Mortal by Atul Gawande so great. Such as bits like this bit, talking about the author’s father:

One of his proudest days was July 4, 1976, the country’s bicentennial, when he was made an American citizen in front of hundreds of cheering people in the grandstand at the Athens County Fair between the hog auction and the demolition derby. But one thing he could never get used to was how we treat our old and frail—leaving them to a life alone or isolating them in a series of anonymous facilities, their last conscious moments spent with nurses and doctors who barely knew their names.

I was on the One Book One Lincoln selection committee this year, and am proud to say the committee made a great pick. Like last year, I’m also happy to report that the committee brought a diverse selection of authors to its top three picks.

When the time comes, you can listen here; or if you miss it (if, like me, you have to work during the day) you can download the podcast here.

“The Thing Speaks For Itself” in Anomaly Lit.

anomalylit2The 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.

Issue Six of Sediments Literary Arts Journal.

Issue Six of Sediments Literary Arts Journal, containing my story “The Flower Car,” is now available online. I’m very happy with how this issue turned out—great looking magazine and a great home for my story.

“The Flower Car” will be featured on the Sediments home page later this month. I’ll try to update this post when that goes live.

Meanwhile, two other stories have recently been accepted for publication, which is very exciting. Look for “Sunsets in Sunny Gardens” in I-70 Review come later this year, while the other story is (by request of the editors) still a secret…

Pulp Literature: Issue 9 Out Now.

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 Cover-9-smallwith 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.

“Space Tears Can Hurt” at Pulp Literature.

Very happy to announce that my story, “Space Tears Can Hurt,” a little venture—a bit different for me—into sci-fi, has been accepted for publication in Pulp Literature, a really great journal (“Good books for the price of a beer”) that came to my attention late last year and has published some sci-fi greats. It will appear in the Winter 2016 issue. Big thanks to the editors who have been working with me on some edits.

I’ve read basically two classic fantasy or sci-fi novels ever: The Lord of the Rings and Dhalgren. I’d like to think my approach lies somewhere between the two. I’ll be sure to post again when you can read the story.

Glimmer Train Short Story Contest.

Happy to announce that my short story, “The Thing Speaks for Itself” was named a Top 25 finalist by Glimmer Train for its February 2014 short story contest. This is the second time a story of mine has been a finalist for a GT contest, although the first that it was named to the Top 25.

Thanks to GT for the nice comments; it’s beyond exciting for the story to get some recognition. (And congrats to the winner—I’ll have to read it.)

Hope to find a good home for “The Thing Speaks for Itself” sometime soon.

The Orphan Master’s Son.

Congrats to Adam Johnson and The Orphan Master’s Son, which won the Tournament of Books last week. I haven’t read the novel yet, but it’s definitely in the to-read pile now. All editions—KindleNook and paperback—are cheap right now, so there are no excuses not to pick it up.

After the ToB, I’ve placed a few more books on my must-read pile: Building Stories (and I’m no graphic novel fan), Beautiful Ruins, and Arcadia. I had read about all of them before, but reading the match-ups, commentary, and comments during the tournament sucked me in.

And Lev Grossman should win some prize as best judge of the tournament.

Update (4/17/13): Apparently the price for the ebook of The Orphan Master’s Son has gone up for a few dollars, unfortunately—probably related to it winning the Pulitzer. Now the paperback is the better deal.

The Letters of Willa Cather.

The New York Times reports on publication (finally) of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, the first time much of her correspondence will be available publicly:

For scholars it’s a major literary event, a chance at last to flesh out the understanding of a writer often seen as a remote bluestocking in big skirts and old-fashioned hats. Cather, the letters reveal, was a powerfully engaged literary businesswoman who corresponded with H. L. Mencken, F. Scott Fitzgerald and other notables of the day — and once playfully took those skirts off, as a charming youthful letter recounts, to clamber down a windmill in a thunderstorm.

I myself am particularly interested in any correspondence she may have had with Hamlin Garland. This also makes me—a fellow Nebraskan—want to get out to Red Cloud and visit the Cather-related sights.

Update: Page Turner has a nice essay about what’s actually in the letters, including a decent discussion of the controversy over Cather’s sexuality. Meanwhile, at my alma mater, there is a great video series on the letters.