Fiction Archive

Monsters and Men: Empathy in Victor LaValle’s Ballad of Black Tom

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What forces turn someone who is, for the most part, fundamentally good into something possibly evil? This question lies at the heart of much horror. In his novella The Ballad of Black Tom, reimagining characters from the weird fiction universe of HP Lovecraft, Victor LaValle answers that question.

Review: THE SUMMER SHE WAS UNDER WATER by Jen Michalski

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Sam Pinski is drowning. Sometimes, quite literally, but at least metaphorically, “she feels submerged in herself.” Sam seems to struggle to remain herself in a situation where everyone wants her to be their version of Sam Pinski, which is a lot of work on a family vacation.

The End of Things

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Popular opinion says that during the holiday season, people either fall in love or reflect on their past year of life. Sometimes they do both, but it’s hard to manage these conflicting actions at the same time. One is active, expressive, and outward moving. The other is passive, observational,

Review: SWING TIME by Zadie Smith

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In a novel about history, about generations, reading Swing Time is like suddenly remembering a song you used to love.

Review: WHERE WE LAND by Daryl Farmer

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And though all the stories follow different lives and the situations they face, it is Farmer’s simultaneous childlike-wonder and knowing restraint that weave these stories together into one, strikingly cohesive collection.

I, Gambler

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Much like the games they glamorize, gambling narratives are fraught with risk. They risk losing the reader in the minutiae of strategy and tactics.

David Lida’s ONE LIFE is the Injection of Humanity for Your Post-Election Blues

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Post-election, escapism is the only salve when no one can seem to look each other in the eye. David Lida’s newest novel, ONE LIFE, is exactly the dark-humored piece of literature everyone should be indulging in right now.

A Stone, a Leaf, a Southern Genius

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From the moment he steps onscreen in director Michael Grandage’s Genius Thomas Wolfe (played by Jude Law) is an aberration. At 6’5, the writer was literally larger than life. He often worked hovering over a refrigerator-cum-writing desk.

Prophecies, Odds, Fate, and…Your Vote

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In the ruins of Moria, at a fork in the mountain tunnels, Gandalf explains to Frodo how the burden of carrying the ring to Mordor was passed to him. The word he uses? “Encouraging.” Tough to swallow, but Frodo learns if it weren’t for him, there would be no

Review: BAD FAITH by Theodore Wheeler

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By anchoring his collection around Aaron Kleinhardt, Wheeler creates subtle connections. The stories feel linked in an understated but solid way, creating a canvas with more depth than any one short story alone could give. Wheeler’s characters are people we know.