All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. Such is the basic goodwill contract made the moment we pick up a work of fiction.
Meredith Spears, an MFA candidate at Creighton University, was kind enough to take some time to talk to us about writing, the publication process, and her new romantic suspense novel, The Mood for Trouble.
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The 2016 Blue River Editors’ prize for creative nonfiction went to Chloe Livaudais’ essay “Lazy Eye.” In her essay, our editors found a mixture of powerful storytelling and craft. Livaudais takes us into memory and, at the same time, weaves a sense of the present in an imperative second person voice. Chloe Livaudais kindly took some time to answer some questions for us.
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What a rough year 2016 was—the countless deaths of our favoriteauthors, actors, and musicians; wars at home and abroad; Brexit; not to mention our own mind-boggling political election. We still have books, though, and thank goodness for that. I read all over the literary map for work, school, and pleasure, and have come up with ten novels, broken into three categories, that sustained me this year:
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf, 2016): I listened to Gyasi’s novel via audiobook before I knew about the book’s hype and Gyasi’s growing fan base. Dani Hedlund featured Gyasi’s novel in F(r)iction #5, where I am a junior editor. However, I was reading Homegoing before I knew about the feature. The novel’s characters and strong voice drew me in immediately. The way Gyasi manages time and multiple generations is also rather wonderful.
2. The Gloaming
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Another month gone by, another leap into the wealth of excellent speculative short fiction available online. There are so many wonderful websites and zines that publish short fiction these days: support the ones you like. Subscribe, use Patreon, buy single issues… it makes a difference to the sites and zines, and it makes a difference for the writers, too.
Here we go: 11 wondrous speculative fiction stories I read this past month.
Man of the House, by Pamela Ferguson in Daily Science Fiction. “Our man is not producing any energy. There is no electricity to power the house. Nothing works.” This is a fabulous short-short story that is so deceptively simple in its construction, and so completely brilliant. If you want to read a story that demonstrates how you can completely twist a story sideways with one sentence (I actually gasped), then this story is for you.
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The Blue River staff are a supportive group. I’m blessed to work with them.
Blue River staff
Creighton grad students and the Blue River team alike are having plenty of success this summer, and the good news continues this month with two publications from staff members at the journal!
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