I'm so not a short story fan, but I adored this collection. It's weird, it's quirky, it's sooooooo very Portland-y. Written by a veritable "who's who" of PNW authors — including Rene Denfeld, Dan DeWeese, Kevin Sampsell, Susan DeFreitas, Justin Hocking, Mark Russell, Karen Munro, Jason Squamata, Suzy Vitello, Leni Zumas, Bradley K. Rosen, Doug Chase, Kirsten Larson, Stevan Allred, and more — City of Weird is brilliant! The stories span the gamut from scary to hilarious to creepy to heartbreaking to WTF, and above all else, it's just flat out fun! Embrace the weirdness that is Portland. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Portland is the City of Weird, but don't come to this book expecting bird-embellished messenger bags or artisan pickles. This is a fantastic and varied collection of fiction by authors from the Pacific Northwest that really gets at the anarchic, imaginative spirit that drives this city. Recommended By Ashleigh B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
City of Weird conjures what we fear: death, darkness, ghosts. Hungry sea monsters and alien slime molds. Blood drinkers and game show hosts. Set in Portland, Oregon, these thirty stories blend imagination, literary writing, and pop culture into a cohesive weirdness that honors the city’s personality, its bookstores and bridges and solo volcano, as well as the tradition of sci-fi pulp magazines. Including such authors as Rene Denfeld, Justin Hocking, Leni Zumas, and Kevin Sampsell, editor Gigi Little has curated a collection that is quirky, chilling, often profound—and always perfectly weird.
Contributors include Stevan Allred, Jonah Barrett, Doug Chase, Sean Davis, Susan DeFreitas, Rene Denfeld, Dan DeWeese, Art Edwards, Stefanie Freele, Jonathan Hill, Justin Hocking, Jeff Johnson, Leigh Anne Kranz, Kirsten Larson, B. Frayn Masters, Kevin Meyer, Karen Munro, Linda Rand, Brian Reid, Bradley K. Rosen, Nicole Rosevear, Mark Russell, Kevin Sampsell, Jason Squamata, Andrew Stark, Adam Strong, Suzy Vitello, Leslie What, Brigitte Winter, and Leni Zumas.
"The 30 stories collected here come from an impressive cast of authors. All stories are set in Portland, Oregon (you don’t need to know anything about Portland to enjoy them), and partake, to varying degrees, of the unique brand of weird that defines that city. Some center around specific landmarks (Powell’s bookstore makes several appearances), some reference the history of the town, and some treat the city only as a general setting. These stories range from highly speculative to more mainstream, from upbeat to cynical, silly to serious; stories of love and loss, humor and pathos, from the bizarre to the poetic. There’s even an illustrated comic. Some are wonderfully pulpy, and some are more modern. "Transformation," by Dan DeWeese, uses an alien invasion as critique of mindless conformity; "Yay," by Bradley K. Rosen, is a Christmas Krampus story of madness and indigence; "Waiting for the Question," by Art Edwards, is a gritty urban fantasia featuring Alex Trebek. All of the stories are very good, making this a fun and recommended collection." John Keogh, Booklist
"With work ranging from myths to folklore, science fiction and a surprising dark comedy of eco-feminist post-Fukushima revenge, Gigi Little has collected together a brilliant showcase of literary talent working in the Pacific Northwest." Monica Drake, author of Clown Girl
“Nimbly spanning the gamut from heartfelt to absurd, lyrical to laugh-out-loud funny, City of Weird confirms the suspicion held by many a Portland resident that you don’t have to look far to find the fantastical. It’ll be a long time before I walk on Mount Tabor or wander Powell’s without looking over my shoulder." Fonda Lee, author of Zeroboxer
"Forget everything you know or think you know about Portland—all that twee Wes Anderson-y Portlandia crap—this is Portland re-imagined as exactly what it is: one more screen on which to project the American Nightmare." Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
"City of Weird is everything I love about Portland: its next-gen sensibility, gleeful disregard for expectation, and that undercurrent of darkness which acts as foil to the eccentricity. I popped these stories like the handmade treats they are, and enjoyed every one." Averil Dean, author of The Undoing and Alice Close Your Eyes
"Like old pulp magazines, City of Weird runs the gamut from simply odd to straight-up horror, from comic to tragic, from short to long and, because it’s Portland, there’s even one graphic story (Jonathan Hill’s 'How Do You Say Gentrification in Martian'). Whether you’re already a fan of the weird and horrific in fiction or just enjoy short fiction well-told, City of Weird will have something to satisfy you. Also to horrify you and make you laugh, maybe at the same time. If this is what the bumper stickers mean when they say 'Keep Portland Weird,' count me in." Billie Bloebaum, bookseller, Third Street Books
"City of Weird is a dark, imaginative and entertaining exploration of the bizarre, set against the backdrop of Bridgetown. From the career troubles of the undead to what's lurking in the basement at Powell's, this book is perfect for readers who want to know what truly keeps Portland weird." Ian Doescher, Portland native and author of the William Shakespeare's Star Wars series
About the Author
Graphic designer Gigi Little of Portland, Oregon, is the creative force behind Forest Avenue Press visual identity. Outside of the domain of Forest Avenue, she has written and illustrated two children's picture books and her fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies and literary journals.
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Gigi Little on PowellsBooks.Blog
When I put out the call for stories for my anthology City of Weird
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