Archive by Author

Short Fiction Event in Austin

14 Apr

American Short Fiction encourages our local readers to attend the book launch of Amanda Eyre Ward’s short story collection Love Stories in This Townlovestories at BookPeople on Wednesday, April 15, at 7 pm.

BookPeople offers its synopsis of the collection: “From stories of love to stories of loss, Ward has once again shown her strength in making her characters fully realized, three-dimensional beings.  The six-story arc featuring a decade in the life of Lola is particularly memorable, providing snapshots of a person growing older, but never really growing up.”

Both the LA Times and the Austin Chronicle have praise for this thoughtful, moving book.

We hope to see you there!

Easter Basket of Books

9 Apr

The Cat and the DevilReader Stacy Muszynski offers these children’s book finds.

Add to your basket of green eggs this Easter a children’s book by Dr. Seuss–or James Joyce, Carl Hiaasen, or Dutch Leonard.

It’s no secret that while cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel published more than sixty children’s books in his life, it’s likely fewer people have heard it whispered that Dublin’s James Joyce, Florida Keys’ Carl Hiaasen, and Detroit’s Elmore “Dutch” Leonard have also written stories for the likes of tykes.

Joyce’s The Cat and the Devil, brought to life for his grandson, is based on an “old French story,” according to Book, Booker, Bookest. The story recounts the origins of the bridge over the Loire River in Beaugency, France, built in one night by the Devil after striking a deal
with the Lord Mayor. The Devil built the bridge on the condition that he could keep the first soul to cross it . . .

Crime writer Carl Hiaasen put out two mystery novels fit for kids, Hoot and Flush. According to Hiaasen’s website, the former “plunges readers right into the middle of an ecological mystery, made up of endangered miniature owls, the Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House scheduled to be built over their burrows.” The latter gives us Noah and his dad who are out to sink the crooked and corrupt Coral Queen Casino boat that’s flushing sewage into their harbor.

Dutch Leonard goes a little deeper into the woods for his characters–or is that the house? A Coyote’s in the House, dedicated to Leonard’s dozen grandchildren and great-grandson, tells the story of Buddy, an aging movie star; Antwan, a rough-and-tumble loner; and Miss Betty, Buddy’s cohabitate, a showgirl princess. But they’re all dogs . . . at heart. Sound familiar? Actually, Antwan’s a coyote who lives wild in the Hollywood Hills with his gang, the Diabolos. That is, until he and Buddy, a pampered former film-star dog, trade places. Adventure, and
great dialogue, ensues.

Big Honors for ASF Authors

24 Mar

Congratulations to our authors!

“The Peripatetic Coffin” by Ethan Rutherford and “NowTrends” by Karl Taro Greenfeld, both published in our Spring 2008 issue, have been selected to appear in Best American Short Stories 2009. “The Peripatetic Coffin” is also our current Featured Story on our website. You can read it here.

yoon_once_the_shoreIn other happy news, Paul Yoon’s debut story collection Once the Shore hits shelves on April 1. Two of the included stories first appeared on the pages of ASF. Check out the Paul Yoon review/interview combo at The Rumpus!

Patrick Somerville’s The Cradle

9 Mar

We’re in the midst of putting together our Summer issue, due out in May. One of the excellent stories we have in store for you is Patrick Somerville’s “The Universe in Miniature in Miniature.” Here’s just a taste:

We are in this van, on this court, doing surveillance on this house, because of Lucy. This is her project. There on her monitor? It’s a boy. His name is Ryan Conrad, he’s twenty-seven, he’s in a bed, and he has brain damage. Lucy’s project is large and many-tiered. She says she is breaking down the walls that went up after Milgram was deemed offensive. She says it’s up to the artists now, if we want to understand people. Her project is to observe the wholesale collapse of a family following major trauma. Her chosen family is the Conrad family; three years ago Ryan Conrad went from a good-looking and somewhat free-spirited law student with an IQ of 132 to an invalid incapable of dressing himself with an IQ of 50. He slipped on the ice and hit his head on the concrete. He was in a coma for a week, then woke up, not the same. I will tell you about his mother and father later. I will also later explain the further love complexities. Lucy and I are both in love with Ryan Conrad, too, but neither of us has admitted that yet.

But you do not have to wait until May to read hot-off-the-press Somerville fiction! His novel The Cradle releases today, from Little, Brown. Head to your nearest independent bookstore and pick up a copy. Here’s what Booklist said about The Cradle:

“With highly charged lyricism and dramatic concision, Somerville gracefully illuminates what children need, all that war demands, and how amends are made and sorrows are woven into the intricate tapestry of life.”

Also, the New York Times calls it a “magical” debut novel, and calls Somerville someone to watch.  Obviously, we think so too.

Three Small Presses, One Big Read

3 Mar

In honor of Small Press Month, a nationwide celebration highlighting the innovative and exciting work produced by independent publishers, American Short Fiction, Dalton Publishing, and Bat City Review are coming together to host a reading of some of the city’s most exhilarating independent press stars and musical talents on Friday, March 6, at Café Caffeine.

The evening will feature six local writers reading original work. The program includes captivating fiction from ASF contributors Smith Henderson and Amelia Gray, as well as Dalton’s Ric Williams; an excerpt from Gary Kent’s hilarious and heartbreaking memoir; and the contemplative poetry of Josh Morison and Elyse Fenton.

Owen Egerton will emcee the event, and music from Southpaw Jones and Jenny and the Corn Ponies will keep the festivities lively. Celebrate the arts and literary expression with a night of words and music, 7 pm on Friday, March 6.  Live Oak Brewing Company will be providing refreshments.

Where: 909 W. Mary (Café Caffeine)

When: 7 pm, Friday, March 6

Hooray for The Rumpus

3 Feb

I have found a new internet addiction: The Rumpus.

Edited by author Stephen Elliot, The Rumpus defines itself as “an online magazine focused on culture with some politics (the subtitle is Books, Music, Art, Media, Film,  Politics, Sex, Other– which kind of says it all).”

The daily Morning Coffee links have replaced my gawker.com/morning coffee habit, and my psyche is feeling much cleaner for it. And best of all is their focus on books. You can read Books Editor Andrew Altschul’s philosophy for the site here.

Check out the interview with former ASF contributor Jack Pendarvis and the article by ASF Editorial Advisory Member Dan Chaon on his late wife, author Shelia Schwartz.

ASF Contributor J. M. Tyree on KQED

8 Jan

J. M. Tyree contributed his biblically inspired satirical short “The First Book of the Chronicles of the Cola Wars” to our Spring 2007 issue. Here he reads from “My Other Family,” a story of child abandonment and revenge that takes place in a Wal-Mart, on KQED’s The Writer’s Block.

We Heart Tom Gauld

8 Jan

Characters Guaranteed to Improve Your Story

Illustration © Tom Gauld.

Tom Gauld produces brilliant illustrations on topics relating to literature and the arts for the Guardian Saturday Review letters page.

Hello, World!

11 Dec

Our newly revamped website had given us the space for a newly created blog. Check this space often for news and reviews, recommendations and rants, and to get a look at the inner workings of ASF. We’ll have posts from the entire staff, and we welcome your comments!

Things are busy this month at American Short Fiction. We’re putting together our Spring issue, due out in February, with new fiction from Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Yoon, and many many others. It’s a special expanded issue, and we’re sure it will not disappoint. We’re also happily overwhelmed with entries to our annual Short Story Contest, judged this year by Sam Lipsyte. And we reopened to regular submissions, as well. Judging by the volume, our new electronic submission system is a big hit.

Happy holidays to everyone. We hope you join us here often in the new year!