Today is dedicated to my friend, Chris Deal, who is a fantastic writer. His collection of microfiction, Cienfuegos, is now available at Brown Paper Publishing [who now have a link over on the right side]. I’ve not yet read all of it, but, from what i have read of the collection, and what i’ve read of Chris’ beforehand, i can tell you that’s great and wholly worth the $5 they’re asking. Yeah, $5 for a book, which is so very cool because it’s worth every penny.
Cover art there. Now, how about some praise from some other great writers about this collection.
‘Prose haikus, fiction bullets, one-sentences novels, two fingers of story neat, no chaser . . . I don’t know what to call these, really. But I want more.’
If you know me, you know Dr Jones is one of my heroes, one of my favorite writers. So this is some heavy praise as far as I’m concerned.
‘These stories render emotion in shades of stark gray. Like sculptures, Deal subtracts from his Cienfuegos superfluous elements, leaving a base from which the reader is allowed to interpret, perhaps participate in, his characters’ disjointed lives. Each word hints at two others; each line implies a life; each brief fiction describes a world.’
Caleb’s a friend and a man I consider a mentor of mine. Did a lot to help me figure out who i am as a writer and the stories i want to tell. He has a novel coming out later this year, i think. I’ll make a post about that when i know more or when time gets closer. Also, his chapbook, Charactered Pieces, came out some time ago. He was kind enough to send me a signed copy. It’s a fantastic collection of stories that will really move you and I encourage you to pick this up as well, since you’ll be buying things anyway.
In Cienfugeos, Chris Deal writes about solitude, loss, and the cold certainty of death, a chill running over you as the stories unfold, and then, he drops you into a furnace of hate and mysticism, the short, fractured stories abruptly over with nothing left but an echo. These are all in the same world, in different worlds, in the mirrored reflection of places that seem familiar, and yet, are not at all what you thought you knew, unexpected and piercing. You could call this a collection of flash fiction, and that would be correct if you meant blinding white light, a crack of violent thunder, and the distant shrieks of babies crying, mothers unsettled and father frowning, arms crossed in defiance. These are moments in time, a snatch of conversation, the last visions of dented souls bound for other places. His work is visceral, haunting and always steeped in history, ancient tales made new. This is the tip of the iceberg in so many ways.
I already made mention of Richard Thomas’ novel, Transubstantiate, which comes out this summer some posts ago [and will bring it up again when it’s ready to buy]. Again, a great writer and, like Caleb, someone i consider a mentor and friend.
I don’t know how much more i can do to get you to buy this book, but i hope you do. You know, if you like to read. And even if you don’t, each story is about 100 words, and you should at least be able to stay focused for that long, yeah?