Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: short fiction

“What Are You in the Market For?” by Ruo Ruo Zhao

The moment Elaine walks out of the air-conditioned hospital hallway, she is covered in a sheet of liquid. It is not sweat, but rather condensation from the difference in interior and exterior temperature. A thunderstorm is coming, maybe even a typhoon. The moisture in the air has captured all the smells on the streets. Beneath the pungent aroma of fermented tofu and fish balls, there is the distinct scent of mold from children’s nylon backpacks. Further down the street, there is the body odor of an Indian delivery boy—cumin, the cheap perfume worn by women who disappear into buildings with pink neon lights—green apple, fresh citrus scents from Bergamot oranges and pomelos, and the smell of ocean from the fish stall next door . . .

“The Confession” by Murray Stone

Nothing much happens around Sylvan Lake as a rule—maybe a fight breaks out at the Agricultural Society dance, or the institution of marriage is combined with booze or drugs or guns. So of course the Edmonton and Calgary papers are saying that Lillian’s death is beyond the investigative powers of my rural RCMP detachment and me. Well, maybe so. I don’t know . . .

“Fresh Fish” by Matthew J. Hockey

“Nothing stops the bid,” Uncle Taeng said as he shoveled the squirming baby octopus into his mouth. “Nothing. If we don’t bid, Seoul doesn’t eat . . .”

“The Blackout” by Brandon Dutton

Where the f**k am I?

My eyes snapped open and scanned the inside of a run-down apartment. Brown stains covered the couch like leprosy, and the living room looked like it had been robbed . . .

“The The Cortez” by Brett Finlayson

Tupelo was sipping a Mickey’s in El Cortez when Mac and Porter came in from Fremont—a double endorsement for capital punishment as far as Tupelo was concerned, and the reason he had a glass eye . . .

“What Would They Do?” by Devorah Blachor

There are three types of parents of princess-obsessed toddlers: the Mortified Feminist, the Enabler, and the Dad (the latter two being frequently interchangeable). In this segment, we will explore how they might react in different situations . . .