Synopses & Reviews
In these 11 storiesand the weird spaces in betweenpeople of all kinds struggle to free themselves from conventions and constraints both personal and political. Places ranging from the farthest reaches of outer space to the creepy abandoned farmhouse in the middle of nowhere become battlegrounds for change and growth--sometimes at a massive cost.
Tyranny takes many forms, some more subtle than others, and it is up to the reader to travel along with the characters, who improvise and create their own renditions of freedom.
Poet and fiction writer Alan DeNiro uses language like no other. His second collection of stories explores our relationship to art, history, and looks at how everyday events, personal and political, never cease to leave us off balance.
Alan DeNiro was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in English and the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. in creative writing. He is the author of the story collection Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead (Crawford Award finalist; Frank O'Connor Award longlist) and the novel Total Oblivion: More or Less. His short stories have appeared in One Story, Asimov's, Santa Monica Review, Interfictions, and elsewhere. He lives outside of St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Kristin Livdahl and their children.
"DeNiro (Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead) has crafted the rare work whose setting is the realm of pure imagination. 'The Flowering Ape' takes us to the furthest reaches of 'wherespace,' the stage for an emotionally poignant coming-of-age story of a young intersexed telepath. 'Walking Stick Fires' returns to terrestrial for a tale of two buddies riding motorcycles across mean desert roads, two friends who happen to be two multi-eyed, and clawed alien friends who refuel their bikes at gas stations manned by the chained human slaves of a colonized Earth. Across these 11 stories and two prose poems, sprinkled with unrepentant weirdness, DeNiro creates emotionally compact tales suffused with humanity even when the characters are not human. The stories are at their best when they fully embrace and inhabit their altered worlds. '(*_*?) ~~~~ (-_-): The Warp and the Woof' is the standout in the collection, dedicated to the relationship between a writer and his agent in a dystopian publishing future, which seems fully felt and positively plausible. In contrast, 'A Rendition' a story occurring in the present that details three college students' attempt at kidnaping a professor who helped draft the torture memos used in the War on Terror feels heavy-handed and out of place. It's worthwhile to accompany DeNiro as he follows the unmarked paths of his stories wherever they lead." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Bending, straddling, and contorting our notions of fiction and reality, these stories explore characters at major crossroads in their lives.
About the Author
Alan DeNiro was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in English and the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. in creative writing. He is the author of the collection Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead (Frank OConnor Short Story Longlist, Crawford Award finalist) and the novel Total Oblivion, More or Less (Booklists Top Ten SF/F books). His short stories have appeared in One Story, Asimovs, Santa Monica Review, Interfictions, and have been shortlisted for the O. Henry Award. He lives outside of St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife, Kristin Livdahl, and their twins.