As the home of a wonderful, award-winning roster of independent publishers, we’d like to help readers discover our curated collection of top-notch literature from emerging and often underappreciated literary voices. Our indie publishers strive to provide an option to mainstream books in much the same way indie filmmakers and record labels provide alternatives through their companies; the rationale for the app is that the same people who enjoy independent films and music are likely to be drawn to quality indie books — if they have an easy place to find them! Short stories are a great introduction to a new writer and ultimately Consortium hopes to cultivate more fans of independent press books.
Launching today on the App Store with five preloaded stories, including one from Holly Black and one from Ry Cooder, Bookslinger will make a new story available each week to readers, helping them to discover the best new voices in contemporary short fiction. Users can browse by interest category, title, or author, and share what they’re reading with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. Currently available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, we plan to make Bookslinger available to Android devices later this year.
About this week’s books featured in Bookslinger:
The Poison Eaters (Small Beer Press): In her debut collection, New York Times best-selling author Holly Black returns to the world of Tithe in two darkly exquisite new tales. Then Black takes readers on a tour of a faerie market and introduces a girl poisonous to the touch and another who challenges the devil to a competitive eating match. Some of these stories have been published in anthologies such as 21 Proms, The Faery Reel, and The Restless Dead, and have been reprinted in many “Best of ” anthologies.
Cradle Book (BOA Editions): Timeless yet timely and hopeful with a dark underbelly, these fables revive a tradition running from Aesop to W.S. Merwin. With a poet’s mastery, Craig Morgan Teicher creates strange worlds populated by animals fated for disaster and the people who interact with them, or simply act like them, including a very sad boy who wishes he had been raised by wolves. There are also a handful of badly behaving gods, a talking tree, and a shape-shifting room.
Los Angeles Stories (City Lights Publishers): Los Angeles Stories is a collection of loosely linked, noir-ish tales that evoke a bygone era in one of America’s most iconic cities. In post-World War II Los Angeles, as power was concentrating and fortunes were being made, a do-it-yourself culture of cool cats, outsiders, and oddballs populated the old downtown neighborhoods of Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine. Ordinary working folks rubbed elbows with petty criminals, grifters, and all sorts of women at foggy end-of-the-line outposts in Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Rich with the essence and character of the times, suffused with the patois of the city’s underclass, these are stories about the common people of Los Angeles, “a sunny place for shady people,” and the strange things that happen to them. Musicians, gun shop owners, streetwalkers, tailors, door-to-door salesmen, drifters, housewives, dentists, pornographers, new arrivals, and hard-bitten denizens all intersect in cleverly plotted stories that center around some kind of shadowy activity. This quirky love letter to a lost way of life will appeal to fans of hard-boiled fiction and anyone interested in the city itself.
This Is Not Your City (Sarabande Books) Eleven women confront dramas both everyday and outlandish in Caitlin Horrocks’ This Is Not Your City. In stories as darkly comic as they are unflinching, people isolated by geography, emotion, or circumstance cut imperfect paths to peace—they have no other choice. A Russian mail-order bride in Finland is rendered silent by her dislocation and loss of language, the mother of a severely disabled boy writes him postcards he’ll never read on a cruise ship held hostage by pirates, and an Iowa actuary wanders among the reincarnations of those she’s known in her 127 lives. Horrocks’ women find no simple escapes, and their acts of faith and acts of imagination in making do are as shrewd as they are surprising.
Elephants in Our Bedroom (Dzanc Books): The debut short story collection from the editor of the Mid-American Review. Michael Czyzniejewski’s writing is both poignant and playful. The collection includes flash and longer fiction and is the antithesis of those collections complained about for having every story too similar to one another.