Sunday, September 21, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - September 21, 2014



Before I launch into what I read this week I thought I would say Happy Birthday to my Mom. She is 84 today. While she is now visually impaired so can't read this post (or know that I am writing it) I thought that she would still appreciate knowing that whoever reads this could be thinking happy thoughts for her. So everyone......1.........2.........3......think happy birthday thoughts for Christine!

So enough of my maternal self promotion. What did I read?

This week wasn't as productive as the two previous but boy, did I read a couple of great books. I started the week with The Martian by Andy Weir. Is there something better than waxing lyrical? If there is then that is what I am going to do. I LOVED THIS BOOK! Love with a capital 'L'. Andy Weir managed to couple botany with science fiction and crazy funny dialogue with excellent results. Remember, I like watching science fiction better than reading it but The Martian broke that mold for me.

Imagine if you will....Mark Watney - engineer/botanist has been stranded on Mars with only 30 days worth of supplies and no way to communicate with Earth. His crew mates think he is dead and no one is coming back for 4 years. Mark has to use every bit of his enormous brain, ingenuity and a healthy dose of luck in order to survive and try to find a way home. Can he do it? You will have to read it to find out.

I couldn't have been more surprised by The Martian. I saw that it got quite a few stars on Goodreads and Amazon but I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I was LOL'ing on public transport, I was biting my nails at what would happen next and staying up WAY past my bedtime to read just one more chapter. Drop whatever you are doing (well after you read the rest of this post) and go buy this book and read it. You may also read a DAC interview with Andy about The Martian and writing here.

Next on my TBR was Into Darkness by J.T Geissinger. This is the final book of the Night Prowler series and will be released in mid October by Montlake Romance. I will be writing a full review of this book so I don't want to say too much other than its a cracker of a final book. There is still time for you to catch up by reading the other 5 books before this released so get going. I have reviewed three of the other books at The Qwillery so if you want to find out what I have thought of the series so far check them out here, here, and here.

The final book I have been able to read this week was Shadowlark (Skylark Trilogy 2) by Meagan Spooner. I really enjoyed Skylark (book 1) of this dystopian young adult trilogy. I have been waiting for the price of the second book to drop since it was released and have to admit I had forgotten about it. I was checking my Amazon recommendations and up it popped. In book 2, Lark continues her journey to find her brother after leaving the Iron Wood. After a near death experience or two she finds herself in the city of Lethe where Renewables are hunted and enslaved just as she had been. Lark inadvertently joins a group of rebels who are fighting against the evil ruler, Prometheus. Lark learns more about herself, more than she ever wanted to, throughout this novel and it's only a matter of time before she comes face to face with her greatest fear - herself.

I don't know what it is about subsequent books in young adult or youth fiction series but I find I don't like them as much as the first . For example, I didn't enjoy World After (book 2 of the Penryn and the End of Days series) by Susan Ee (or book 3) or Taste of Darkness (book 2 of the Healer series) by Maria V. Snyder. The characters I loved from the first books turned either all whiny or all soppy over some guy/angel. This is exactly what happened in Shadowlark. I actually got quite sniffy at the end of book 1 but I could hardly wait to get to the end of this one. Book 3 - Lark Ascending is out soon but I am not convinced I want to continue. I think I will wait and see what the price is before I make that decision.

That is it for me for this week. I hope you have a good week ahead and until next week Happy Reading.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Retro Reviews: Dune by Frank Herbert




The Qwillery is thrilled to announce a new feature by Brannigan Cheney. Here's what Brannigan has to say about Retro Reviews:

I'm excited to take a minute to tell you all about a new feature at The Qwillery called Retro Reviews. Retro Reviews will be going against the grain a bit. For these reviews, we'll be focusing on books in the speculative fiction genre with a key difference—the books we'll be reviewing will not be new or soon-to-be-published. Now, you might ask, well, what does that mean? I've defined it as any book that is at least five years older than the current date. Today is September (fill in the date), 2014, so I can read any book that was published before September 2009. I felt it would be good to have a rolling date so I will always have new books to read.

I've been a fan of speculative fiction since I was a teenager in the 90s, but I'll be honest, I haven't read a lot of the pioneers of my chosen genres. There are also books that have since been published that I haven't gotten around to reading yet. I don't think I'm the only one out there with the same problem. I will pick random books from my own bookshelves, libraries, friends homes, and, used bookstores.

Retro Reviews will have a slightly different look and feel than the other reviews. I will endeavor to share a bit of information about the author and/or book if I can find some interesting information for you. I might even review an entire series at one time. I'll be rating the books on a simple scale of “don't bother reading this book, borrow it from a friend or library, or scour the earth until you find your own personal copy.” I'm sure I'll pick books you have no interest in or you've already read, but stick with me and I'm bound to find something you haven't read. If any of you have a book or author you've always wondered about, but don't have the time to give it a go, let me know and I'll read it. Retro Reviews will be something I do between my current New Fiction reviews, so don't look for a new Retro Review each week, I'm hoping to have at least two a month.

I invite you to join me on my exploration of our collective fictional past.



Dune
Author: Frank Herbert (1920-1986)
Series: Dune Chronicles 1
Original Publisher and Date: Chilton Books, 1965
Still in Print: Yes, by ACE
Current Formats and Length: 40th Anniversary Paperback, eBook 544 pages (original length 412 pages)
Availability: You can find it online or in bookstores easily.
ISBN: 9780441013593

Brief History

Frank Herbert started his writing career as a newspaper reporter in the Pacific Northwest. He served as a photographer during World War II and published his first fictional story in Esquire in 1945. Frank Herbert was inspired to write Dune while living in Oregon and witnessing the government's attempts to control the sand dunes near the coast with poverty grass. He went so far as to write an article about what he witnessed called, “They Stopped the Moving Sands.” Dune was originally published in Analog magazine from 1963 to 1965 before he expanded it and looked for a publisher. He was rejected by over twenty different publisher before Chilton Books agreed to publish the book. Chilton Books was better known for publishing auto-repair manuals.

Dune won the 1966 Hugo award and the very first Nebula Award for Best Novel. It has received wide acclaim as the best science fiction novel ever written. In 1971, the movie rights were sold and have had a troubling history in film ever since. A recent documentary, Jodorowsky's Dune, gives a glimpse into the troubles a book like Dune has caused for directors in their attempts to make it into a film. David Lynch was the first to actually finish a film based on the book in 1984 and the Syfy Channel has since made two mini-series based on the book. The last attempt to remake the film failed in 2011.

Dune has also inspired games, musical albums and many other cultural influences.


Back Cover Description

Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides & heir of House Atreides) as he & his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the "spice" melange, the most important & valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology & human emotion, as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.





Brannigan's Review

I thought I would start my inaugural Retro Review with a bang. Since I've already read The Lord of the Rings, I looked to the biggest Science Fiction book out there and by all accounts that's Dune. I have to admit I feel bad this is the first time I've read Dune. I've always meant to read it, but that's the point of Retro Reviews, to correct the wrongs I've made in my reading career.

I went into this book with a lot of baggage. I think anyone would when it comes to a book this famous. It's won two of the biggest awards in its field, and has been made into some really bad movies. It's referenced in pop culture and we already know what our friends think of it. We might even read the book because we're sick of getting harassed about not reading the book. All of this creates a very high expectation for the book, and to prove how unbiased I plan to be in these Retro Reviews, I'll be honest, the book fail flat on it's face for me, for the first 300 pages. Now, before anyone gets ready to call me names and burn me in effigy, let me explain. I loved the last part of the book, which made me want to go back and re-read the first 300 pages, which for me is a win.

Now, why didn't I like the first 3/4ths of the book? There are two reasons. It starts almost immediately in the middle of a political battle between two great houses I knew nothing about, so it took some time to figure out who was who and what their motivations were. Then, once all of that was settled, I was stranded right in the middle of a strange planet and had to learn all about it and the people who live on it. That can be a lot of information for any reader to take in before any real action or plot happens. Now, I know you're going to say things were happening, and I agree, but very slowly. In my admittedly limited experiences in true Science Fiction, I've noticed that most books can be categorized as either books about ideas or books about events. The event books have plenty of action to keep the readers going. Idea books, which I think Dune falls under, spend most of their time on a central idea. Dune is all about ecology—the change a planet makes on its inhabitants, and, in this case, the universe, and what would happen if someone could then change the planet? Granted, this is a very cool idea, and it explains why we spend so much time learning about the planet Arrakis and the spice, but I'm more of an events reader, so things didn't really pick up for me until I got to see some battles.

Onto Herbert's writing craft, he is a master at world-building and should be studied by any writer. You can tell, even after spending the majority of the book learning about the planet, we're still only cracking the surface of the rich history of Arrakis. I can't say the same about the characters. For me, the only character I really felt was well-rounded was Lady Jessica. I never really felt connected to Paul until the very end of the book, which, to me, is a mistake. I think the reader should connected to the hero first above all others. I also didn't respect the villain’s motivations. As an idea book focused on ecology, I don't think character development is as important as world-building, so maybe that's why Herbert didn't develop his characters more.

Dune is still relevant in today’s world, maybe even more so then when it was published 49 years ago. We can see our planet changing by our actions. Now that you know the power one person holds, will you take what you read and make a difference?

As a reader, you'll need to decide which type of Sci-Fi fan you are, events or ideas. Once you've looked deep into your soul you'll know if you'll love Dune or appreciate it for what it means to the genre. Either way, I think every fan of speculative fiction needs to read this book, so I'm going to recommend you borrow the book from your local library or from that friend who keeps nagging you. Once you've read the book you can then decide if you need to buy it or not for your personal library. There's very minor violence and only suggested sexual themes, and minor, if any, use of strong language. I would have no problem recommending this book to teens and adults.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Interview with Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker - September 19, 2014


Please welcome Maria Alexander to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Mr. Wicker was published on September 16th by Raw Dog Screaming Press.







TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Maria:  Pleased to be here! I started playing with stories when I was 8 years old while I was recovering from chicken pox. I wrote on and off throughout my childhood, but I was more of a musician until I was in college. That’s when I co-founded a company called Dead Earth Productions that designed and ran fully immersive, live-action horror games. We were based in the San Francisco Bay Area. This meant many of our players came from the big RPG companies, like Chaosium, R. Talsorian and White Wolf. Because I loved games and creating interactive experiences more than anything, I devoted my nascent writing talents to that. I didn’t start writing fiction seriously until Neil Gaiman and I started corresponding years later.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Maria:  Having spent a long time as a screenwriter, I’m a hopeless plotter. But I’m not so locked into my plotting that, if something cool jumps out of my head and it feels right, I can’t be flexible.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Maria:  Typing. Right now, I have hand problems and I write with voice technology. You would never know it based on my output. Ask my publisher!



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Maria:  Gabrielle Garcia Marquez. Clive Barker. Michael Marshall Smith. Tim Powers. Neil Gaiman. I recently realized how much Julio Cortázar has shaped my creativity. I first read him in college and he is astonishing. “The Night Face Up” is one of the greatest stories ever written, I think.



TQ:  Describe Mr. Wicker in 140 characters or less.

Maria:  Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory. She must get it back before it destroys her life — again.



TQ:  Tell us something about Mr. Wicker that is not in the book description.

Maria:  At the midpoint of the story, Mr. Wicker shares with Alicia a story about who he used to be before the Library. He takes the reader on a brutal, chilling adventure in ancient Gaul on the eve of the Gallic Wars. The fate of those ancient people is entwined with Alicia’s in ways she could never guess.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Mr. Wicker? From the description of the novel it appears to be a genre bender. Is it essentially an Urban Fantasy? You also touch on suicide on the novel. Why did you go there?

Maria:  Mr. Wicker is quite similar to American Gods in that it’s mostly urban fantasy with parts that are historical fantasy. (Now that I think about it, I wonder if American Gods is considered cross genre.) The difference is that the historical fantasy in Mr. Wicker is one larger story, rather than several shorter, individual stories distributed throughout the book.

As for inspiration, I had a close encounter of sorts with Mr. Wicker himself back in 1997. If you solve the puzzle at the end of the book trailer, it unlocks something that ultimately reveals the bizarre yet true tale. Two people have solved it so far: legendary “Monkey Island” game designer/online community guru Randy Farmer, and brilliant actress/puzzle aficionado Whitney Avalon. (Remember the mom in that controversial Cheerios commercial? Yep. Her.) The puzzle is really not that hard. You’ve seen that sequence before…



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Mr. Wicker?

Maria:  I haunted mental health forums looking for information about suicide and lockdowns. I wish there was more transparency in the mental health profession about what it’s like in a proper lockdown environment. The book is set in 2005. When I started writing the book in 2004, we didn’t have as much information about mental health treatment online as we do today. It was very difficult to get a solid idea of what happens inside mental health facilities from a professional perspective, and still is. Eventually, a friend of mine who’d recently obtained her medical degree graciously shared with me her experiences as a med student on rotation in a lockdown, but I could have used more information.

As for the historical fantasy, I initially started researching ancient Gaul and Rome according to guidelines that Tim Powers gave me for historical research. However, I encountered difficulties because the Gauls were so obscure and my Roman interests so particular. I went to the UCLA library, where I found journal articles written by a classicist named Dr. Maurice James Moscovich at the Western University in London Ontario, Canada. His scholastic specialty covered exactly what I needed to know. I got in touch with him and he took me under his wing. I’m truly lucky. He even read what I wrote and gave me feedback. (I took at least 90% of it.) He’s retired now, thinking more about golf than the Gauls, but he considers me one of his students.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Maria:  Alicia was both the easiest and the hardest because, even when I thought she was being an idiot, I understood her. I got the most blowback about her from male agents. One jackass in particular, who had obviously read the entire book, sent me a long letter explaining how much he disliked her and that no one would ever like a female character who is angry. When my friend Edith Speed committed suicide in 2009, she was incredibly angry. (She was a very strong woman most of her life, by the way.) There was no way I was going to soften Alicia to please anyone’s aesthetic palate, especially after Edith’s death. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s honest, and I think readers prefer that. I know I do.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Mr. Wicker.

Maria:  From Chapter 40:

      She’ll die if you don’t come.
      The words rolled before him and retreated like a riptide into the darkness. His will got caught in the undertow and he could not resist the plea.
      Dr. Farron put down the water cup and sized up the hallway, the portrait glimmering. Forget sanity. Eat me. Drink me. Vomit me. Scorch me. Love me. Remember me...
      He ran.



TQ:  What's next?

Maria:  I’ve just finished writing a dark, action-packed YA novel called Snowed. It’s about a 16-year-old engineering prodigy named Charity Jones whose social worker mother brings home a mysterious boy named Aidan to foster for the holidays. But as Charity and Aidan fall in love, violent deaths occur that Charity investigates with her Skeptics Club. They wind up battling a terrifying twist on the Christmas myth that changes their lives — and human history — forever.

I recruited a team of teen beta readers and their moms for notes to help make the book more authentic. They gave me great notes, but I was not prepared for their overwhelming, unrelenting excitement. Not even the moms were able to put down the book. I also got resounding approval from my 13-year-old male beta reader. (He says it’s a mystery, not a romance. I’m good with that.) I’m querying agents now, as well as plotting the second book in the trilogy.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Maria:  You’re welcome! Thank you for having me.





Mr. Wicker
Raw Dog Screaming Press, September 16, 20414
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 236 pages

Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory.

Located beyond life, The Library of Lost Childhood Memories holds the answer. The Librarian is Mr. Wicker — a seductive yet sinister creature with an unthinkable past and an agenda just as lethal. After committing suicide, Alicia finds herself before the Librarian, who informs her that her lost memory is not only the reason she took her life, but the cause of every bad thing that has happened to her.

Alicia spurns Mr. Wicker and attempts to enter the hereafter without the Book that would make her spirit whole. But instead of the oblivion she craves, she finds herself in a psychiatric hold at Bayford Hospital, where the staff is more pernicious than its patients.

Child psychiatrist Dr. James Farron is researching an unusual phenomenon: traumatized children whisper to a mysterious figure in their sleep. When they awaken, they forget both the traumatic event and the character that kept them company in their dreams — someone they call “Mr. Wicker.”

During an emergency room shift, Dr. Farron hears an unconscious Alicia talking to Mr. Wicker—the first time he’s heard of an adult speaking to the presence. Drawn to the mystery, and then to each other, they team up to find the memory before it annihilates Alicia for good. To do so they must struggle not only against Mr. Wicker’s passions, but also a powerful attraction that threatens to derail her search, ruin Dr. Farron’s career, and inflame the Librarian’s fury.

After all, Mr. Wicker wants Alicia to himself, and will destroy anyone to get what he wants. Even Alicia herself.





About Maria

Maria Alexander writes pretty much every damned thing and gets paid to do it. She’s a produced screenwriter and playwright, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as numerous acclaimed anthologies alongside living legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham.

Her second poetry collection—At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned and the Absinthe-Minded—was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award. And she was a winner of the 2004 AOL Time-Warner “Time to Rhyme” poetry contest.

When she’s not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s on the BBC World Have Your Say radio program shooting off her mouth about blasphemy, international politics and more. She lives in Los Angeles with two
ungrateful cats and a purse called Trog.

Explore her website: www.mariaalexander.net. You won’t regret it.

Twitter @LaMaupin


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Interview with Chloe Benjamin, author of The Anatomy of Dreams - September 18, 2014


Please welcome Chloe Benjamin to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Anatomy of Dreams was published on September 16th by Atria Books.







TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Chloe:  I'm one of those annoying people who's been writing as long as she (I) can remember. As for why, hmm--I think I've always had an overactive imagination and a ferocious appetite for knowledge, as well as more curiosity than is probably healthy, and in combination they've led me to reading and writing.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Chloe:  Is it embarrassing that I had to google "What is a pantser"? I'd say I'm a combination of both. I always have some idea of where the story is going; I tend to know the beginning and have a hazy idea of the end, as well as some twists and turns along the way. But I'm also a believer in the notion that writing a novel is like driving through a dark tunnel at night--you can only see as far as the headlights will show you, but you can make the whole trip that way. For me, plotting a book out entirely ahead of time would reduce the possibility of discovery and surprise, which are (for me, at least) the chief delights of writing a first draft.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Chloe:  Oh, there are so many things. I find revision really grueling. As I mentioned above, I really love the process of writing early drafts: there is so much to be uncovered, so much room to invent and play. Revisions are about taking that pulpy mass of invention and turning it into something with shape and cohesion--in other words, narrative and structural integrity. That process is absolutely necessary but it's simply less fun and less intuitive for me.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Chloe:  I tend to fall for authors who explore human relationships with insight and style. That's a really big umbrella, and I suppose it could cover all authors ever, but I'm thinking of people like Alice Munro and Lorrie Moore. I also love authors who push the limits of speculative or genre fiction, like Kazuo Ishiguro, Tana French, Judy Budnitz, Lev Grossman, Margaret Atwood, George Saunders and Philip Pullman.



TQ:  Describe The Anatomy of Dreams in 140 characters or less.

Chloe:  Couple pursues experimental dream research beneath a charismatic but ethically-questionable professor; trouble ensues.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Anatomy of Dreams that is not in the book description.

Chloe:  The book actually doesn't veer into sci-fi or even speculative fiction--it stays firmly in the realm of what's possible within our world, though I do think it nudges those boundaries.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Anatomy of Dreams? What is lucid dreaming?

Chloe:  I've always had very vivid dreams, and I find dreams in general so fascinating--they're such evidence of the human brain's tendency toward narrative. And because we have little control over that narrative--it's so subconscious--dreams can be very revealing.

Lucid dreaming is the act of knowing that you're dreaming while in the midst of a dream. The researchers in the novel think this presents an opportunity for patients with sleep disorders to regain some control: they reason that if disordered dreamers can become aware of their dreams while inside them, they'll be able to intervene in their own behavior and better process their subconscious fears and urges.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Anatomy of Dreams?

Chloe:  I did a few different layers of research. I wanted to be grounded in the history of dream theory, so I read Freud and Jung, whose ideas still influence the way we think about sleep and the subconscious. Then I read the work of current dream researchers, both those who work on sleep disorders and those who work on lucid dreaming--people like Rosalind Cartwright and Stephen Laberge. Finally, I researched the nuts and bolts of sleep studies: how to operate polysomnography equipment, for instance, as well as academic papers that explore methodology for lucidity studies.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Chloe:  What an interesting question! I'm going to be a cheater and say that Sylvie was both the easiest and the hardest to write: the easiest because her voice came to me immediately, and the hardest because it took a lot of finessing and revision to make sure that she didn't come off as too much of a wet blanket. That was a big part of what I hoped to convey with her character--that even someone who seems utterly practical and conventional can have many layers of weirdness--but in early drafts she was, in my agent's words, somewhat pathetic. In later drafts, I tried to bring out her voice and give her more agency.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Anatomy of Dreams.

Chloe:  Another great question! It's so easy, as an author, to focus on self-criticism and forget to highlight the things you're proud of. I've always liked these lines:

"I’d heard about the power of striped bass, how they grew as heavy as sixty pounds; mature, they had few enemies. But the one in Keller’s hands was docile, resigned. Its eyes--even larger than a human’s, the black irises pits in pools of yellow--stared out at the room with what seemed like attention, as if Keller were offering not death but a privilege. Here, he seemed to say, was life on land."



TQ:  What's next?

Chloe:  In addition to promotion for ANATOMY and a few short writing projects, I'm working on my next novel. I'm superstitious about sharing plot info, but I will say that I'm researching divination, vaudeville and sex work in 1980s San Francisco. My Google searches are getting pretty sketchy!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Chloe:  Thank you!





The Anatomy of Dreams
Atria Books, September 16, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize

“A sly, promising and ambitious debut.” —Publishers Weekly

“Chloe Benjamin is a great new talent.” —Lorrie Moore, author of Bark: Stories

It’s 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller’s work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast.

But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors—and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller’s research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn’t, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion.

In stirring, elegant prose, Benjamin’s tale exposes the slippery nature of trust—and the immense power of our dreams.





About Chloe

Photograph © Nicholas Wilkes
Chloe Benjamin is a graduate of Vassar College and The University of Wisconsin-Madison MFA program. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, Pank, Whiskey Island, and The Washington Independent Review of Books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.








Website  ~  Twitter @chloekbenjamin