Six Ridiculous Questions: Lincoln Michel

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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The Unknowable Aftershocks of Violence: A Review of Jennifer Hillier’s “Jar of Hearts”

On its surface, Jennifer Hillier’s Jar of Hearts is a thriller about a killer and those affected by his actions. However, the novel, which takes place on two different timelines, is a multilayered marvel that also explores the nature of interrupted love, looks at the result of trauma and dangerous traits that are carried in DNA, and shows the lasting impact a brutal murder can have on everyone involved in it. Furthermore, Hillier manages to pull off this plethora of […]

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“Failure Is a Site of Possibility”: An Interview With Andrea Kleine

Eden, Andrea Kleine‘s new novel, is set in the aftermath of a harrowing event: protagonist Hope and her sister Eden were, as teenagers, kidnapped by a man with awful intentions. The novel begins decades later: Hope is a playwright grappling with financial and creative instability, and Eden has gone missing. Hope sets out in search of her lost sister–a plot which gives Kleine a space to explore a number of resonant and disquieting themes. I spoke with Kleine about the […]

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Bart Schaneman on Writing About the American West

The Silence is the Noise, a new short novel by Nebraska-born author Bart Schaneman, is a story of the West. But it’s not a Western, per se, or a gothic fantasy like the work Cormac McCarthy’s been knighted over. This is a novel of the West as it is now—the dying small towns, diminishing natural resources, corporate eco onslaught. The book, which came out August 30th on Trident Press, reads like America feels right now—divided, troubled, at a crossroads between […]

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Matthew Specktor

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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Vol.1 Brooklyn’s September 2018 Book Preview

Remember autumn? Remember the existence of a season not characterized by overwhelming heat and humidity? We’ve heard whispers that such a season might be on the way, and that signs of it might even be visible this month. Consequently, we have some reading recommendations for the coming month, from new editions of vital speculative fiction to experimental prose to works that explore human relationships. Here’s a look at some books that might be just the thing to read outdoors as […]

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Floridian Literature, Liminal Spaces, and Absent Places: A Conversation with Eleanor Kriseman and Laura van den Berg

Eleanor Kriseman’s new novel The Blurry Years traces the coming of age of a young woman named Callie as she travels across the country and comes to understand herself. Laura van den Berg’s new novel The Third Hotel centers around Clare, who discovers her apparently dead husband walking around while visiting Havana for a film festival. These novels share a detailed approach to place; they also utilize absence in fascinating ways. I talked with both writers over the course of […]

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Upsetting Genre, With a Side of Politics: On Nick Mamatas’s “The People’s Republic of Everything”

There’s a telling moment to be found in the history of one of the stories in Nick Mamatas’s new collection The People’s Republic of Everything, likely the only collection you’ll encounter this year that includes both a counterfactual account of Trotsky’s early days and an account of a garden gnome-turned-nuclear weapon. It comes after “Slice of Life,” a tale of a particular corner of medical research and the philosophical tangents it inspires among those involved in it.

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