With A Demon On Your Chest

BY: Severin AllGood

It’s Christmas Day and you lie in bed between two girls, but not in a hot, Cinemax After Dark type of way. More in the sense that you all took too many Xanax after you left the bar and passed out together fully clothed. The one girl’s room is a mess. Dirty dishes and overturned ashtrays are scattered around. Half-empty beer bottles with cigarette butts floating in them. Moldy to-go containers from every delivery place in a three-mile radius. Even huddled together with these two, you’re still freezing. You wonder if the house has heat. Winter in Portland is no place to be without heat.

The Farmers in the Fields

BY: Ziaul Moid Khan

“Is it my right to snatch food from their hands?” I asked myself. The answer was a lone, long silence. This family had done a lot to get me here, at this position. Not that I was super rich and all that, but at least I was just above a hand-to-mouth condition. They were still there, squaring their shoulders with the same grinding poverty.

TCR Talks with Elizabeth Crane

BY: Jaime Parker Stickle

Elizabeth Crane is the author of such novels as We Only Know So Much and The History of Great Things. She has a unique, honest, and quirky voice, and you’ll relate to her characters, even those at odds with each other, recognizing them as friends or family. Crane’s writing is addictive in all the best ways.

When film director/writer/producer Donald Lardner Ward suggested Crane adapt her novel We Only Know So Much into a screenplay, she did. The result is an award-winning film.

Lee Martin’s The Mutual UFO Network

by: A.m. Larks

To assume that Lee Martin is writing about little green men and flying saucers would be a faux pas, but Martin is writing about things that are no less alien to us: our fellow human beings. The Mutual UFO Network explores the complexity of human relationships, which is as terrifying, strange, and incomprehensible as any extraterrestrial lifeform.

Ritual to Ban the Sun

By: Audrey moyce

The moment Rachel woke up she knew she was going to masturbate. She felt the familiar ache in her groin, and the sweat around her neck held the whiff of preemptive shame. The Backstreet Boys in the posters above her bed looked down at her.

She must not. Must not. God was watching, and God-knows-who-else was, too. And every time you touch yourself, it lays another brick on the staircase to hell. She had to stop this before it began.

TCR Talks with Abby Geni

BY: A.e. SANTANA

Abby Geni is the award-winning author of The Lightkeepers and The Last Animal. Her latest novel, The Wildlands, explores the traumatic repercussions of a category five hurricane when it hits Mercy, Oklahoma, and demolishes the home of the McCloud family. Orphaned, the children attempt to go on with their lives but are swept into a world of dangerous, fanatical eco-terrorism that is both frightening and understandable. Through their story, Geni examines the turbulent state of our natural world and plays with the line between saving the planet and destroying ourselves.

TCR Talks with Mart Kivastik

BY: KaiA GALLAGHER

For a small country of 1.3 million people, Estonia has a rich and long-standing literary tradition based on centuries of folklore and lyric poems. The country is located on the Baltic Sea to the south of Finland and shares its eastern border with Russia.

At the end of World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union, forcing many of the country’s authors and playwrights into exile. A select few remained in Estonia but found themselves constrained by Soviet censorship.

Book Review: Adam Nemett’s “We Can Save Us All”

By David M. Olsen

We Can Save Us All is an ambitious debut by a very talented Adam Nemett. The book begins with a chance meeting of our rather nerdy protagonist, David Fuffman, in an odd, drug-enhanced damn-building exercise where he meets the charismatic and wealthy Mathias Blue—in a frigid river, at Princeton. This clever scene is a fun springboard into the witty, satirical, and nihilistic novel that is to follow. The story is set in the near future where all-too-realistic issues of war and climate change combine with a phenomenon called “Chronostrictesis,” where time itself seems to be coming to an end as though through a funnel: human existence as we know it is no longer, as the characters have to stockpile food and supplies for the severe weather and the impending superstorm.

Bomb

BY: Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri 

“I didn’t say bomb,” Mustafa Bey said to his son David, his words inflected with his harsh Turkish accent. “I said bum. Tell them, my boy. Tell them your father isn’t a fucking terrorist.”

“You said bomb on an airplane,” said the TSA agent, whose name was Lawrence. They were both in his office, having been ejected from their flight prior to takeoff.

Book Review: Micah Perks’ “True Love”

BY: A.M. Larks

Everyone I know is looking for a way to escape, hit pause on reality, and just take a breath; get immersed in something else, someone else, anything else because the real world seems too much to bear. And I am no exception. I do it too. Because at its heart, that’s what reading is: a way to escape the world around you, which makes it ironic that my escape would be reading about characters who are trying to escape their own complicated fictional lives in True Love And Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape by Micah Perks.