Speculative Fiction Author
Quick Sip Reviews “Demon in Aisle 6”

This morning I received this nice review of “Demon in Aisle 6” from Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews:

“Stories like this wreck me. Just absolutely wreck me. There is an aching beauty and tragedy to this story that just sits like a weight on my chest. In short, it is an amazing story, amazingly sad and moving and okay it’s been a while since I’ve cried like that but hurrah, my eyes still work for that…But my glob is this a beautiful story. A haunting story that looks at fear and guilt, a story that shows us that we are all made of stars, but we are not all free. Fuck. Seriously go and check out this story. It is amazing and all the yes.” 

You can read the full review here. And you can read “Demon in Aisle 6” in Nightmare Magazine here.


“Demon in Aisle 6” Out Today in Nightmare

nightmare-nov-2015My story, “Demon in Aisle 6,” is out today in Nightmare Magazine. It’s about a gay romance in an unwelcoming high school, plus demons. Here’s the opener:

I first saw the demon the Sunday after you died. It was 11:53 p.m. Just seven minutes until I would have grabbed my knapsack and biked home to Mom and bed and a life of sound sleep. That night the flurries were drifting down like nuclear ash. Most folks had fled for warmer places, but a few shopper-zombies still wandered SuperMart’s bright aisles, seeking redemption in the form of deep discounts. I was wheeling a mop and bucket down to Aisle 17, where a crate of cherry soda had fallen from the shelf and sent high-fructose fizz all over the concrete floor. When I passed Aisle 6, the demon looked up at me.

I felt as if a swarm of moths had hatched in my belly and were wriggling out of their cocoons to feast on my organs, as if someone’s hand had clutched my heart and squeezed. It hurt so much I gagged, because there he stood, this giant ball of brown afterbirth, eight feet tall, hunched and crooked, one eye white and huge, like the moon on the night you died, the other this black drop of oil, a black hole sucking up all light. He was a pinwheel of jagged teeth and claws and bones, like some aborted dinosaur fetus.

You can read the rest of the story here. There is also an excellent podcast of the story via that link, narrated by Paul Boehmer. 

Death of a Salesman in Yiddish

Avi Hoffman as Willy Loman

Avi Hoffman as Willy Loman

Yesterday, we saw the New Yiddish Rep perform Death of a Salesman in Yiddish. Wow. What a show. The acting was superb. I’ve been studying Yiddish in my spare time for about three years, and I think this is perhaps the longest period where I’ve listened to spoken Yiddish. I understood quite a bit, and was happy (but not surprised) to notice differences between the spoken Yiddish and the supertitled translations in English projected on the wall. One of the actors said, “Hok nit kin tchainik,” which means literally, “Don’t knock a tea kettle,” and translates idiomatically as “Don’t make a bother.” The English translation was something akin to, “Don’t worry.” There were lots of little minor translation differences like these that gave me joy.

But the best part of the performance was the acting. Avi Hoffman, who played Willy Loman, was incredible. Truly from the moment he stepped on stage until his sad departure I never once doubted he was a down-and-out salesman slowly losing his mind. And the supporting cast was amazing too. Suzanne Toren as Linda, Daniel Kahn and Lev Herskovitz as Biff and Happy. Plus all the others were truly astounding. Makes me wish I were alive during Yiddish theater’s heyday last century. There are only a handful of performances remaining, and even if you don’t speak Yiddish, I highly recommend the play. (The English translation is projected above the actors throughout.) 

Reddit AMA, Today, November 17th

reddit-fantasyTODAY, November 17th, I’m participating in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) over in their fantasy subreddit. Come on by during the hours of 11am through about 11pm Eastern Daylight Time. 

Here is the link to the Reddit AMA. 

Please stop by to ask me anything, whether it’s about writing, publishing, editing, being in a writing group, Fantastic Fiction at KGB, the letter Q… Hope you’ll join me for some interesting conversation!