Uncanny Americana: A Review of David S. Atkinson’s “Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from my Pockets While I Sleep”

Though awfully brief, the hundred-plus fictions in this collection all have be considered tall, as in “tall tales.” All of them stretch plausibility till it snaps, sketching quandaries of a surreal bumptiousness far beyond what we read in most flash fiction. The short-short form tends towards quieter epiphanies, the hurts and discoveries of the ordinary, but David Atkinson is having none of that. In one story a bizarre super-creature, more or less immortal, “replaced the bricks of the Pyramids with […]

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Pop Culture Tropes and Chilling Satire: A Review of Kurt Baumeister’s “Pax Americana”

  These are dark times for black comedy, especially if a humorist takes on American politics. A mere novel, it would seem, can never match the Real World. The problem clearly occurred to Kurt Baumeister, because he took his nasty jibes to another world. The title of his bleak yet bubbly Pax Americana smacks of satire, but also sketches a power structure that doesn’t quite match up with our own. Obama never happened, in Americana; rather, 2009 saw the Third […]

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