In his smart, funny and satirical short story collection Fatal Errors, Paddy Scott offers up portraits of the alt-right movement, toxic masculinity and the technology that enables these movements and leads to loneliness, dehumanization and gullibility.
The Prejudgment Day Blues and other tales of comic woe gives us a blood thirsty character, a space travelling blunderer, a grieving widower and an ex-hippie trying to fit in. These are dark and quirky tales for the lonely and the quasi-cynics and those just trying to get through another night before the planet is burnt by the sun. Armageddon is just a heart beat away.
The four short stories in Keith Ebsary’s High on Life range from the absurd to the macabre to the silly and the dark. Trade is an attempt to get inside the gay male mind through the miracle of blowjobs. Fiend is a short and nasty tale of a sexually obsessed old man. Cut concerns a roid user who kidnaps an old woman, feeds her steroids and forces her to be his training partner. Madhouse features CBC radio announcers. With High on Life, Ebsary joins the DevilHouse pantheon of grit purveyors.
These are tiny stories that turn in surprising ways. They are witty. They are sharp. They are wry with humour. They are full of wonder in ordinary circumstance. In Imaginary Stories, rob mclennan applies his poetic sensibility for minimalism to prose. These tales have a magical allure.
DevilHouse’s latest offering is “4PM in Los Angeles” by former junk yard attendant, Steven Storrie, an American living in the UK. He runs the site “Black Coffee for Breakfast” http://renegadepriest11.wixsite.com/blackcoffeebreakfast where he conducts bad ass interviews about the end of the world and crimes we wish we’d committed. Storrie is the spawn of Hunter S. Thompson and Henry Miller with a little Bukowski swimming around in his DNA.
A man quits his job from the sanctuary of a dingy bar. A soldier remembers a perfect summer while lost behind enemy lines. Some poor sap arrives to his interview smelling like a fish pond and a strange man watches his neighbours from a window with a chip in the glass. All of them are laced with bitterness, longing and regret. The nagging belief that it was better long ago, before all this, somewhere…
4PM In Los Angeles is a collection of short stories for anyone unadapted to the horrors of modern life. It is for anyone lost and wandering alone. It is for anyone who ever loved a city and was cast out of it. It is for Monday morning Quarterbacks.
It is for anyone who knows that destruction does not always wait until after breakfast.
In No Guns No Knives No Disco Biscuits, a collection of creative nonfiction flash, hell looks a lot like 21st Century San Antonio, Texas. Eternal torment is summed up with, "You can only donate so much plasma. You can only drink so much Busch. You can only swallow so many pink Equate allergy pills. You can only swallow so much cum." The stories in this collection wail the blues in a karaoke dive bar where there's no redemption but plenty of gravitas, enough to keep a bitch busy until last call.
In these two creepy stories, Walmsley smothers Leacock’s sunshine in black clouds. This is hardcore contemporary Canadian Gothic, stabbed, burned and soaked in blood.
In this collection, Babcock writes of gropes in dive bars, hookers, kidnappers, and suicide. Characters work as waitresses at the Rib Rack, clean toilets for a living, rent motel rooms for $140 a week, live on lentils, masturbate to cartoon anime girls, store urine in pop bottles, expose themselves to strangers on the subway. The roses may be brown-edged, but they bloom anyway.
The stories in Philip Quinn’s “Bird, Most Likely” range from sad tales of sickness to chilling portraits of rapists. There’s a wide variation in style in this work, from colloquial to formal. Nietzsche, Archie Bunker, John Lennon and Steve McQueen share the pages with hookers, projectionists, priests, flight attendants, redheads, and murderers. In this book, you’ll find blood and ether, broken glass, Japanese sports-cars, scratched 35-milimeter films, old photos, poison, trinkets, Indian Reserves, unleavened bread and unconsecrated wine. “Bird, Most Likely” is a refreshing glimpse into the neglected and forgotten, their unspoken crimes and preoccupations, characters who don’t fit in the polite society you read about in mainstream CanLit.
"Poignantly urban, surreal and post-realist — Philip Quinn’s Bird, Most Likely is a dark gem of Canadian transgressive writing which pulls back the surface of CanLit’s tame, bourgeois attitudes revealing exquisitely penned characters one seldom finds in polite society." Mark McCawley, Urban Graffiti