TROY JAMES WEAVER is the author of Visions (Broken River, 2015), Witchita Stories (Future Tense, 2015), Marigold (King Shot, 2016), Temporal (Disorder Press, 2018), and Selected Stories (Apocalypse Party, 2020). He lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife and dogs.
Keith Rosson is equally at home writing about the trials and tribulations found in everyday life as he is the bizarre and uncanny. His characters range from a once-beloved painter fallen on hard times to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on a team-building retreat; one of the things that makes his work so compelling is that he finds the same empathy for both. I spoke with Rosson on the occasion of the release of his new collection, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, about his distinctive approach to fiction.
Jeff Jackson is the author of Destroy All Monsters, a heady yet visceral take on rock music, violence, and the nature of communities. Jeff Jackson also plays music in Julian Calendar, a postpunk band whose music could also be described as heady yet visceral. Since 2017, the group has released 5 records, including 4 EPs in the Crimson Static series.As an admirer of Jackson’s work in both spheres, I reached out to him about discussing the evolution of his foray into music, and how it’s affected his writing.
After strangling his wife, sociologist Hélène Rytmann, in their Paris apartment, Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser authored a memoir depicting the episode. The Future Lasts Forever was published in 1992. Almost three decades later, artist Tatiana Istomina tackles the narrative from the perspective of Rytmann. Her Fhilosofhy of the Encounter is ostensibly by Rytmann (Istomina is listed as the editor)—a Rytmann descending with a pen and a pair of scissors upon her husband’s book.
A Lebanese-American ferry pilot. A Chinese-American grocer. A Midwestern-born misfit with a gift for gab. A self-styled provocateur and his salon of associates.
They are among the many small-town eccentrics you meet in Fire Bones, a new multimedia series from the mind of poet Greg Brownderville. He describes the format of the series as “the world’s first-ever go-show.” Part film, part podcast, part musical performance, it’s a daring, genre-defying work of fiction designed specifically for your smartphone. If all this sounds overly conceptual, the story itself is anything but. Imagine a formally inventive take on Twin Peaks or True Detective, and you start to get the picture.
I think the idea of labor has become something of a deadening note for today’s fearful public. We are all of us a chorus of the overworked. Forgotten, underfed, middling labor. Beset by hateful prejudices, uncontrolled viruses, deceitful media and neighbors, we drift, aimlessly, from one calling to the next, a cycle of duress begetting fitful sleep after fitful sleep, guessing how our meager indulgences got us here. Pushed totemically across the game board, no amount of training can prepare the worker for the whipcrack of life, the breaking of spirit.
LINDSAY LERMAN is a writer, teacher, and translator. Buzzfeed Books called her first novel, I’m From Nowhere (Clash, 2019), “a heartbreaker of a debut.” Aside from co-editing Black Telephone Magazine, she has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
JOSHUA DALTON is the author of I Hate You, Please Read Me (House of Vlad, 2021). He lives in Texas. Follow him on Twitter.