Though it sometimes seems as if the scattershot diversions of the digital world have minced our attention span into nothing more than an assortment of interest spasms, that short stories are growing ever shorter, leaner, so much so that minimalism is now a blank page, the longer story is still alive and well. Since great stories, as the characters that inhabit them, come in all sizes from the microscopic to the gigantic, they are all welcome here. In its third issue, Camera Obscura is delighted to include a few stories, mentioned below, on the longer end of the scale, including Vincent Czyz’s bare-fisted novelette “The Nameless Saint,” which begins:
“It was the hour when the lamplighter, toting a ladder over his shoulder, made his tedious rounds; when workers slogged through the streets as though souls on their way to purgatory; when bones turning to dust in graveyards unexpectedly shifted like a heap of logs burning on the grate. This was not the quarter of Samirska lit by theaters and cafes, cabarets and fine restaurants—a quarter smiling like a crescent moon in the dusk—here the restaurants had bare wooden floors and for a drima offered a bowl of cabbage soup or, for a few more, greasy stew and a slice of black village bread. Here, mounted gendarmes patrolled the streets in pairs or not at all.”
Vince Czyz is the author of the short story collection Adrift in a Vanishing City. He was the recipient of the 1994 Faulkner Prize for Short Fiction (the honorable Allan Gurganus judging) and two fellowships from the NJ Council on the Arts (1991 and 1994). His writing has appeared in Shenandoah, AGNI, the Massachusetts Review, Louisiana Literature, the Southern Indiana Review, and the Boston Review. His fiction has also appeared in Turkish translation. He is the 2011 Truman Capote Fellow at Rutgers, Newark.
We are also excited to add to the Summer issue, the work of Adam Peterson. His story entitled “It Goes Without Saying” is excerpted below:
“He was nothing if not the consummate local. If a people were boorish he was boorish, if courteous then courteous. In Beijing he was anonymous, in Tokyo he was serious, and in Doolin he was a baritone. And, heavy and drunk at a picnic table in Munich, he was in a state of permanent appetite. A fly sentried the golden, salty chicken from which he tore a leg as the Germans around him licked the grease from their fingers and dried them on their shorts. So he too let the juices run down his chin then chased them with cetacean gulps of beer until his face shone and his pants looked as if he’d passed the afternoon crying rather than drinking stein after stein of the helles to hunt his thirst.”
Adam Peterson is the co-editor of The Cupboard, a quarterly prose chapbook series. His fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on a novel.
We have also add Gerri Brightwell to the table of contents for the summer issue with her story “A Long and Distinguished Career,” which begins:
“On the very day the father promised he’d take the boy out a storm blew in on a furious prairie wind. Dense clouds blotted out the afternoon, rain scattered off the windows, and the young trees fencing in the front yard bent close to snapping. The wind pushed at the door and the father had to hold onto it as he stepped outside. Already the doormat was sodden. He hadn’t bothered with shoes, and in a few moments the soles of his socks were wet and cold. He stood there anyway while rain rushed at the ground, breathing in the smells of wet, bruised vegetation and the chemical taint of molecules rent apart. There’d be no going out this afternoon.”
Gerri Brightwell is a British writer who lives in Alaska with her husband, fantasy writer Ian C. Esslemont, and their three sons. She teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and has two published novels: Cold Country (Duckworth, 2003) and The Dark Lantern (Crown 2008).
Here is a recent review of the previous issue, Winter 2010, in The Review Review
More to come soon as the issue comes together. The Summer Issue is slated for release in June 2011.