September 7, 2018

Friday Night is Gumshoe Night Again: “Saratoga Noir”

Friday Night is Gumshoe Night Again: “Saratoga Noir”

Ruby Fink, our Audio Arts Barista, and I were talking recently about great detective podcasts and we both agreed that “Saratoga Noir” was one of the best ever. And since it’s Friday night, our traditional audio arts/podcast evening, we’re rolling that tape again. Here’s the first episode of ZBS’s “Saratoga Noir,” featuring one of the world’s greatest, most humorously cynical and yet endearing gumshoes, Danny Boyee. Please click on the arrow below to listen to Episode 1 of “Saratoga Noir.” If you want to listen to the entire story, they’re all here at the Café: https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-2018s-first-audiobook/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-podcast-episode-2/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-five-new-episodes-tonight/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/5-audiobook-episodes-saratoga-noir/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-episodes-8-14/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-thrilling-conclusion/ Enjoy, with another big thank-you to our friends at the ZBS Foundation! Please visit their site. It’s a treasure trove of audio delights.

Continue reading →

September 3, 2018

“Deluge,” A New Novel by James D. Best

“Deluge,” A New Novel by James D. Best

Jim Best lives in Kansas, where lately raging rain has caused rivers to rise and towns to be flooded in epic proportions. So perhaps his latest novel, Deluge, is prescient. Taking a break from his phenomenally successful Steve Dancy westerns, Deluge is set in the present, but its antecedents are in 1862, when a sixty-five-day downpour pummeled the western United States. California suffered the brunt of the storm. Almost a third of the state was under water, roads were impassible, telegraph lines down, rivers overflowed, hundreds of people died, and hundreds of thousands of animals drowned. Sacramento remained under water for six months, forcing the state government to move to San Francisco. Geological evidence shows that a flood of this magnitude hits the western United States every one to two hundred years. Well, it’s been a…

Continue reading →

August 31, 2018

“Moon Knight,” A Brand New Fan Film!

“Moon Knight,” A Brand New Fan Film!

Editor’s note: We’re delighted to present a stunning new fan film. The Marvel Comics character “Moon Knight” is the superhero transformation of Marc Spector, and if you want to know absolutely everything about him, check out this page. A fan film is a work of video created to show respect, interest, reverence, and appreciation for the original work. Or, to quote  Charles Caleb Colton, “Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery.” We’re grateful to Ian Adama for his work creating, providing FC with the finished “Moon Knight” fan film, and for the production notes that follow. Ian was the post production supervisor and director, AND the actor who portrayed Spider-Man. Another big shoutout to Chris Moore, one of us Fictional Café coffee fanatics and the sound designer and post-production audio engineer for this film. Ian is…

Continue reading →

August 28, 2018

The Intoxicating Art of Nicole Duennebier

The Intoxicating Art of Nicole Duennebier

Editor’s note: Beginning today, August 29th, and running until September 11, Nicole Duennebier’s art is on display at the 13FOREST at 444 popup gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Gallery co-owner Marc Gurton says, “Since 2007, 13FOREST Gallery has been working with some of the finest artists in the Boston area to bring recognition to their work and to link them directly with the public. Last summer our pop-up exhibition at Gallery 444 in Provincetown allowed us to connect with visitors from all over the country, and this year we look forward to forging more connections within the art community of Provincetown with this two-week exhibition.” Receptions will be held on August 31 and September 7, 6-9 pm.   Artist’s Statement Natural phenomenon—dermoid cysts, fungus, invasive flora/fauna—and my love of candied, old-master opulence have a constant presence in my work. Through…

Continue reading →

August 21, 2018

PictureStories with Grant Kreinberg

PictureStories with Grant Kreinberg

After a four-year absence, Grant Kreinberg returns to the Fictional Café with some new photographs for which he, Sarah and Jack have written prose and poetry captions. We hope your imagination flies, as did ours, and you enjoy the mood-setting provided by Grant’s images and our impressions. “Port Costa Doll” I gasped as the angel appeared, seemingly from the golden mist that arose from the apothecaries. At first glance I thought she seemed a puppet, but she moved in ways that said she was not. She shimmered, and I was aroused but then ashamed, for I was certain she was only a child. Then I saw the words, “A charming surprise,” and I wondered. **   “Who Said What?” He said . . . she said . . . the eternal misunderstanding. **   “All…

Continue reading →

August 15, 2018

No Fake News Here

No Fake News Here

The New York Times Joins Effort to Combat Trump’s Anti-Press Rhetoric Excerpted from The New York Times, page B2, August 14, 2018   Sometimes it’s important to stand up and be counted, regardless of whether it’s politically correct or not. Today is one of those times. Today, August 15, 2018, over two hundred newspapers across the country are standing up, very tall, to push back against assertions of publishing “fake news.” Today, these newspapers are publishing an editorial in defense of a free press. I hope you will read this editorial in your favorite newspaper, whether in print or online, and join the Fourth Estate in defending its honor and its rights in America. Because if you don’t, we just might continue down the slippery slope of a censored, politically controlled press. Although you will…

Continue reading →

August 14, 2018

“All the Rage” by Lynne Conrad

“All the Rage” by Lynne Conrad

  Cold fear seized Lucy as she mashed the Mustang’s gas pedal further down; her speed now hovered at eighty-eight. She peered into the rearview mirror, terrified by the man in the dented black Ford truck riding her bumper. She had peeled away from the curb in front of the nail salon when this truck pulled up beside her and the driver laid on the horn, waving his fist at her and shouting hoarse curses out of the open window. “Shut up and move on! I didn’t do anything to you!” Lucy screamed out her window, but this guy’s response—it had to be a guy, she thought—was to rev the truck’s engine as he drove along beside her. People walking along the sidewalks stopped and stared. The truck driver slowed and fell back, so she…

Continue reading →

August 10, 2018

Exploring Literary Trilogies and Tetralogies by Victoria Merkle

Exploring Literary Trilogies and Tetralogies by Victoria Merkle

Editor’s Note: The trilogy and tetralogy are commonplace in genre fiction: science-fiction, fantasy, mystery. But what of literature? Tori Merkle dissects the phenomenon and helps us understand its often unrecognized significance, not only in storytelling but in an author’s oeuvre.  Literary Chronicles: An Exploration of Trilogies and Tetralogies in Literary Fiction by Tori Merkle It’s a fact of storytelling: chronicles sell. Series novels, commonly a trilogy or tetralogy, are especially popular in genre fiction—we sit waiting and watching for the next sci-fi or fantasy saga to top the bestseller list and then hit the box office. Once we get the first luscious taste of a fictional world, we’re ravenous for more. We become attached to the characters as if they’re intimate friends. We’re eager to know what happens next. This is the same energy that…

Continue reading →

July 31, 2018

Thoreau Didn’t Need a God of Consolation: Six Flash Fictions by Mitch Grabois

Thoreau Didn’t Need a God of Consolation: Six Flash Fictions by Mitch Grabois

Photo credit: Beverly Bambury Editor’s Note: Mitchell Grabois’ work nearly defies naming conventions, and that’s a good thing. It’s how new plants, birds, constellations and literary genres are born. We asked Mitch what name he gave to these creative, innovative set pieces, because they transcend the commonly known genres. They are almost anti-plot; the narrating character could be the author or someone else, but we can’t be certain; the prose structure leans into the movements in a musical work. Here’s what Mitch replied: “I consider these flash fictions because they are written in prose and they tell stories (though perhaps not conventional ones). Thanks for considering the work poetic—as you know, in much literary fiction there are elements of poetry in the prose.” Infidelity  1.  I hid behind a tree, not the Tree of Knowledge or…

Continue reading →