Book Reviews

Messiah Tortoise by James R. Gapinski

At its essence, James R. Gapinski’s Messiah Tortoise is a brief, yet intriguing collection of absurd narratives that take place in zoo settings populated with a diverse array of animals and zoo staff.


Research Notes


Shitstorm deals with the world of social media, opinion, and politics. And even if the final version of the book wasn’t evident to me for a while, as far back as 2013 I was already trying to get my head around our interactions in a world increasingly composed of digital agoras, where outrage is a currency, and where reaction many times replaces thinking.



Hollywood & Highland by Samantha Paige Rosen

I hold a peach in my hand. The whole thing.



Thinny Mister Howards by afopefoluwa ojo

Mister Howards is a man who wants to be another man, and his life is not better off for it.


Research Notes

Sarah Stone on Hungry Ghost Theater

My new novel, Hungry Ghost Theater, began when I was avoiding a novel I kept writing and rewriting. That other novel changed dramatically — a pair of sisters turned into friends and then lovers, Quakers morphed into drag performers, and drinking problems migrated from character to character — but it didn’t really seem to get much better, though my friends and early readers tried valiantly to encourage me.



A Coronation by Richard Ford Burley

The girl reclines on a long rock, set in the mouth of the cave like a lolling tongue. Her words drift over the in-and-out breath of the waves and the rumbling roll of pebbles in the surf.

Book Reviews

Thank Your Lucky Stars by Sherrie Flick

Flick’s writing is fresh and decisive, often lyrical in its descriptions. In “The Bottle”, she describes unhappy wife Francine’s frustration in her domestic setting: when the woman smashes the top off a wine bottle, “it blossomed open with ragged edges… its fractured top like a crown.”


Research Notes

Virginia Pye on Shelf Life of Happiness

Where do our stories come from? As my collection, Shelf Life of Happiness, finds its way into readers’ hands, this is the question I’m asked more than any other.



Secret Astronauts by James Yates

Kelsey knew her Daddy wasn’t around, but she wasn’t old enough to comprehend specifics. Her Momma, Lynn, froze when Kelsey asked where he was.

Book Reviews

Meet Behind Mars by Renee Simms

The stories in Renee Simms’ debut collection Meet Behind Mars don’t take place on another planet. They aren’t magical realism, or science fiction, or supernatural. Instead they center on Black women who are on their own frontiers — and only one of them involves the actual atmosphere.


Research Notes

Jenn Stroud Rossmann on The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh

When I was in grad school at Berkeley near the end of the last century, one of my labmates was side hustling as a daytrader. We were all ostensibly there to become more expert in computational fluid dynamics, writing our code in Fortran or C++ and then calculating everything from cardiovascular flow to the swirling red spot of Jupiter to the formation of stars.