We are thrilled to announce that One Story author Andrew Foster Altschul’s (Issue #62, “The Rules”) second novel, Deus Ex Machina (Counterpoint) has now officially hit bookstores. Critics are gobbling up this “irreverently candid peek inside the entertainment industry”–Booklist. Stacey D’Erasmo, author of The Sky Below, calls it “Searing, riveting, shockingly smart, and imbued on every page with a wicked sense of humor…The tragicomedy of our time;” Publishers Weekly writes, “Rarely has societal critique come with more mayhem…an anarchic assault on the dehumanizing power of media;” and Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances, says: “Deus Ex Machina manages simultaneously to be philosophical, absurd, kinda dirty, hilarious and, well, Real…Think Shakespeare’s The Tempest gone distressingly and wonderfully modern.”
OS authors Jim Hanas, issue #8 “The Cryerer,” will read alongside fellow OS author Darin Strauss, issue #15 “Smoking Inside,” at (Le) Poisson Rouge February, 13th. Both writers had new books out last year, Hanas with Why They Cried, and Strauss with Half a Life. The reading is part of the InDigest Reading Series which asks authors to read their work while referencing another piece of writing which they found influential. In addition, (Le) Poisson Rouge has continually been a fantastic venue for artistic exploration and the like. So come out and support your these talented authors!
The current issue was edited by our managing editor, Tanya Rey, so I’ll leave her to do the proper introductions. Hope everyone enjoys this marvelously inventive world of the Terranauts. -HT
I knew from the minute I read “Life Among the Terranauts” that I wanted to work on it. Not only was the writing exceptional and the voice delightful, but how often do you read a moving story about people trapped in a simulated earth? With the added suspense of potential cannibalism? Not often, I’d venture to say.
From the beginning Caitlin Horrocks deftly draws us into NovaTerra, an isolated man-made ecosystem where six people have signed on to live for two full years without any contact with the outside world. We meet the group on day 543, after most of the enthusiasm, crops, and animals have died and they are eagerly counting down until they can get out and return to “Old Earth.” What follows is the unraveling of organization and faith, as told from the point of view of a narrator whose own experience with religious zealotry attracts her to Igor, NovaTerra’s only steadfast believer. The narrator is faced with the task of fighting her past in order to ensure the survival of the group.
This is a magical story whose magic lies, above all else, in the way it melts into the grainy existence of our own struggles with faith and religion. Caitlin possesses the coveted writerly ability to make readers think deeply when all they thought they were getting was a funny tale about a botched bio-dome project. (No easy feat, as Jason Bloom can probably tell you.)
This year’s AWP Conference will be held in our Nation’s Capital. One Story will be at the book fair again this year, supporting our fantastic writers. As usual the conference offers an incredible amount of writers, discussions and panels. Here are just a couple panels which stuck out to me:
Beyond Print: Digital Directions in Literary Publishing. (H. Emerson Blake, Michael Archer, Jeffrey Thomson, Ram Devineni, Steven Lagerfeld) Digital media is often presented as a challenge for literary magazines and journals—an obstacle to be overcome. But digital media also presents dynamic opportunities for the world of good writing. This panel features the editors of five print, digital, or online-only publications—Guernica, Orion, From the Fishouse, Wilson Quarterly, and Rattapallax—that are using digital media to find new methods of expressing their missions and new ways of connecting with their audiences.
Filling the Void: Growing & Sustaining Literary Communities. (Jill Pollack, Christopher Castellani, Alix Wilber, Kyle Semmel) What is the beating heart of a city’s literary community? Writing centers across the country are doing more than filling a void: they are building vital links and opportunities to serve writers at all stages of their careers. Panelists from some of the largest centers in the country will share the successes and challenges of helping writers to study the craft, creating training grounds for MFA graduates to teach, developing reading audiences, and participating fully in a city’s cultural life.
Double Duty: Writers Who Work in the Publishing Industry. (Parneshia Jones, Randall Horton, Toni Margarita Plummer, Dan Bernitt) Join four accomplished writers who happen to be successful publishing professionals from the commercial, independent, and university press backgrounds. They will discuss the pros and cons of being on both sides of the literary coin, as well as how they have learned to make wiser decisions about their own writing careers while being responsible for publishing award-winning writers from all over the world. Get the inside writer’s view of the publishing industry.
Building the Literary Robot: The Lit Journal as New Media. (James Engelhardt, Scott Lindenbaum, Jurgen Fauth, Zach Dodson, Zachary Schomburg, Travis Kurowski) Lit has gone viral, adapted to fit Twitter feeds, iPhone apps, and social networks, and fashioned into flash animation for posting on YouTube. How do literary journals step into these new, far-reaching modes of publishing? What role will e-literature have in contemporary publishing and the teaching of creative writing? What will this mean to the traditional short story, poem, and essay? Writers and editors of online and print literary journals tell how they’ve explored new e-lit territory.
And for those of you who got stiffed on getting into Junot Diaz’s reading at NYU back in November (myself included) there is redemption ahead–the Pulitzer Prize-winning author will be reading at the conference, as will Jhumpa Lahiri, Mary Gaitskill, and others… See you there! Don’t forget to stop by the One Story booth and say hello.