“The Roller Coaster” – Surreal Short Fiction, out via Litro

Photo by Augustine Wong.

My surrealist short fiction piece – “The Roller Coaster” just came out today with Litro UK, in their lunch break fiction section.

It’s a small piece that’s pretty indebted to the style and trappings of Haruki Murakami’s short fiction, which I had read quite a bit of last year when I first wrote it.

In essence, a young man living in Montreal meets someone at university and they become very close. However, their relationship and his own perception of nothing short of reality come into question one afternoon when they visit LaRonde together.


Books I Read in 2023

I finally tallied up my reading list. In 2023, I read 33 books. Most for the first time, a couple for the second, third, or possibly fourth time.

The list is:

James SA Corey – Tiamat’s Wrath
James SA Corey – Leviathan Falls
Jane Harper – The Lost Man
Something is Killing the Children, Volumes 1,2,3
Keigo Higashino – Malice
Keigo Higashino – A Midsummer’s Equation
Keigo Higashino – Newcomer
Keigo Higashino – Silent Parade
Arimasa Osawa – Shinjuku Shark
Stephen King – The Outsider
Daniel Keyes – Flowers for Algernon
Michael Crichton – Eaters of the Dead
Richard Stark – Break Out
Richard Stark – Flash Fire
Richard Stark – Dirty Money
Richard Stark – The Green Eagle Score
Krishnadev Calamur – Murder in Mumbai
Nicholas Carr – The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brain
William Gibson – Neuromancer
Jussi Adler Olsen – The Scarred Woman
Jussi Adler Olsen – Victim 2117
Jo Nesbo – The Bat
Jo Nesbo – Redbreast
Jo Nesbo – Nemesis
Jo Nesbo – Cockroaches
Jo Nesbo – The Devil’s Star
Jo Nesbo – The Redeemer
Jo Nesbo – The Snowman
Jo Nesbo – The Leopard
Robert Sellers – Hellraisers
Kanae Minato – Confessions
Ken Baumann – Earthbound
Sydney Sheldon – If Tomorrow Comes

I started they year out by completing the Expanse series. I hadn’t reach much sci-fi, borderline space opera for a while, and it made for a pretty gripping 7 book series. Though, whether I will go back and reread them any time soon, considering I’ve seen the television show twice over, is unfortunately another matter (even if the books, as usual, are better).

After having only previously read “The Snowman” by Jo Nesbo and found it sillier than the average Nordic Noir, I’m glad I gave the author another chance. I read a bunch of the Harry Hole books this year, mostly out of order, and was pleasantly surprised that the quality was not only better, but so too was The Snowman in the context of being the sixth or seventh in the series. I had planned to read more, but after losing my kindle and a couple of half read books on it (including another Jo Nesbo), I haven’t had the stomach yet to buy another device and pick up where I left off.

Sydney Sheldon probably wins the award for writing the cheesiest book I read all year. Despite that, it was somehow remarkably readable and a guilty page turner, kind of the way other mass market paperback thrillers tend to be.

The Richard Starks were ones I had previously reread (and at least 2 on trains this year). Reminded me for a time this summer that I need to pick up more. However, he’s one of those authors I always scour for at used book shops and he hasn’t turned up at the past couple I checked.

Shinjuku Shark by Arimasa Osawa was a delightfully gritty hard detective noir that I wasn’t expecting to like so much. Definitely a Raymond Chandler type set in 1980s or 90s Japan. I also found out the book is fairly rare, and its not too probable that I will find the following ones in English either. There was maybe one print a while back, and I haven’t seen them listed anywhere except for exorbitant prices on Amazon.

Lastly, Neuromancer. This was my third or fourth time reading it. It’s one of those books that changes each time I do, especially the protagonists. Where once upon a time Cage and Molly were these larger than life adults, living strange lives that were years ahead of me, I’m now substantially older than both of them. I couldn’t help but see a naivety and an innocence to them now, despite both of them being hardened criminals who had somehow seen it all in their early to mid 20s. It’s nice to think people could be so young and so pessimistic.


Got My Hands on Author Copy of Under the Stairs

Under the Stairs is now out and available on Amazon through Ossuary Press.

I was lucky to receive my authors copies earlier in the month but was too down and out from Covid to post about it (a parting gift from my trip to London in the first week of December, it seems).

Front cover above and the page where my story “The Magpie” appears written under my pseudonym.

I love the gorgeous artwork that introduces each story!