March 17, 2021

“Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” A Book Review by Lorraine Martindale

“Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” A Book Review by Lorraine Martindale

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is a biography of horror fiction writer Shirley Jackson by Ruth Franklin. My first encounter with Shirley Jackson was reading “The Lottery” in junior high. It was the first story that truly disturbed me; the stoning of an innocent woman was a shock. The culprits were not villains. They were regular people, going about their regular lives in their bucolic village. Jackson was confronting conformity at a time when the individual wasn’t valued. I could have been one of them. I wasn’t the only one implicated. After it was published in The New Yorker in 1948, the magazine received letters calling “The Lottery” “outrageous, “gruesome,” and “utterly pointless.” The New Yorker had never received so much mail in response to a work of fiction. Jackson received letters as well,…

Continue reading →

February 26, 2021

“Rising” – New Poetry Collection by Yong Takahashi

“Rising” – New Poetry Collection by Yong Takahashi

RISING: Poems In this debut collection of poetry, flashes of life’s most intimate moments are filled with love, hope, remorse, longing, and anguish. We root for the one who reaches for happiness but is not yet able to grasp it. We wince for the one who picks at festering wounds that never quite heal. We are breathless as we run alongside those who chase after a thirst that can never be quenched.   Yong Takahashi is the author of The Escape to Candyland. She was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. She was awarded Best Pitch at the Atlanta Writers Club Conference. Her second short story collection will be published in 2021.To learn…

Continue reading →

February 25, 2021

February Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

February Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

JASON BRICK’S NOTES FROM THE LAB As a freelance writer deep in the trenches, I’m here to present your five facts and five favorites from the month of February, 2021. Just the facts…. Fiverr.com is a good place to get low-cost cover design services, and a bad place to find competent copy editing. The pandemic has shifted a lot of genre sales figures, but by now you shouldn’t change any decisions based on that.  On social media, there is an inverse relationship between how successful a writer is and how mean they act. If you “don’t have time to write” you actually just prioritize other activities Martha Wells’s The Murderbot Diaries is really, really fun to read. Five Favorites… Social Change in the Publishing Industry I don’t know if it’s going to be awesome or a train wreck, but…

Continue reading →

February 9, 2021

“The Girl on the Train,” A Review by Jennifer Green

“The Girl on the Train,” A Review by Jennifer Green

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins To be totally transparent, this 2015 psychological thriller is not one I would have picked up or sought out on my own. However, as I’m always looking for new books to read and making a conscious effort to expand the genres on my shelf, when a colleague mentioned this page-turner in a recent Zoom meeting, I picked up a copy and dug in. It’s a quick read, and the premise is interesting: struggling alcoholic rides a train into London every day and muses about the inhabitants of the houses along the tracks, two of whom are her ex-husband and his new wife. When she observes suspicious behavior just before a young woman goes missing, the tension rises. However, it’s the narrative perspective that really gives the novel its…

Continue reading →

January 14, 2021

“The Color of Jadeite,” by Eric D. Goodman: A Review

“The Color of Jadeite,” by Eric D. Goodman: A Review

Editor’s Note: Being in the publishing industry, I’m fortunate to regularly meet talented writers and artists. It is sometimes an instant connection and other times a bit of serendipity. In the case of Eric D. Goodman, it was the latter. A year ago, we published a novel excerpt by Eric, called “Traffic Report,” from Setting the Family Free about a horde of animals unleashed on an Ohio town. A few months later, we published a collection of poems by Charles Rammelkamp and I got to chatting with Charles. While looking up his forthcoming novel, Catastroika, I noticed a familiar name. It seems that Eric had written a blurb for a review of Catastroika. Intrigued, I reached out to both authors and found out that they were actually longtime friends from Baltimore! What’s even more interesting…

Continue reading →

This is your site

Welcome to the Fictional Café! Your baristas are interested in all genres of short fiction, poetry, excerpts from novels-in-progress, your photographs, art, and audio or video podcasts. We encourage you to share your work for publication in the Fictional Café. Click on the Join/Submit button above to learn more.

Archive

Facebook