“The world is wonderful and full of magic. He who does not believe it so is dead.” –the narrator of “In the Garden”
Brian Biswas has published his fiction in professional magazines
for more than four decades. How would you ever find them all online now, or in bookstores?
Well, you wouldn’t.
The beauty of ebooks and anthologies is finding a collection of stories all in one handy place.
The strange, vivid imagery of dreams
In “This Old Man,”
reading this, take note. Brian emailed me:
“I’ve been getting rejections for 40 years. I’m used to them. They come with the territory!My first was from The Paris Review—when I was 20 … it was for The Bridge, which George Plimpton called Hawthornesque, but not long enough for them to print. I see it as an introduction to the magical realism stories that follow in the book!
Oh–and rest assured!–the narrator of the Bridge doesn’t drown (the story is told in the first person, so he must survive to tell the tale).
In fact, if you read closely, you’ll see that the narrator is the same as the narrator of the next story–A Betrayal. The second story could almost be seen as a continuation of the first. Our narrator is on a journey in both, but in A Betrayal he has entered “some other province, some other land …”
“Irreal fiction challenges readers by representing the world, not in terms of an exact mimetic representation of what we see every day but in a way that undermines our very sense of what is real.”
“The first half of my anthology is magical realism (this would be the ‘hard to ponder’ stories),” Brian emailed me. “These are Stories I would summarize as ‘many pointers to an unknown meaning.’ Unlike a dream, in which events can be pretty random, a magical realism story is basically realistic—with one or two magical elements. The reader has to determine the story’s meaning. E.g. the doctor’s patient with the unusual illness (or not?) or is it the doctor with the ailment? The narrator of ‘The Bridge’ who sinks slowly into the water’s depths after his failed rescue … And don’t get me started on ‘This Old Man’! The second half of the book is straightforward science fiction, and many of those stories were published in Perihelion. Though even there I try to toss in a magical detail at some point!”
The science in this fiction is accurate,
Titan is a dark place,
The Titan Life Project,
#gottaloveBrianBiswas! Find him on Twitter: @BrianBiswas
All nineteen stories are startling, thought-provoking, fun to ponder
Not a single lemon in the bunch! Buy with confidence.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. The Bridge
II. A Betrayal
III. The Crystal
V. In the Garden
VI. The Museum of North African Treasures
VII. This Old Man
VIII. Sedgefield’s Diary
IX. The Strange Story of Saxon’s Hill
X. The Lake of Flies
XI. Solitary Confinement
XII. Love in a High-Tech Age
XIII. The Roses of Charon
XIV. A Journey Through the Wormhole
XV. 2038: A Mars Odyssey
XVI. The Miners of Erin
XVII. Barnegat Inn
XVIII. The Worms of Titan
“The Bridge” published in Penny Dreadful (December 1991),” reprinted in Cafe Irreal (May 2006) and Tien Ve (June 2013);
“A Betrayal” published in Penny Dreadful (September 1999), reprinted in Cafe Irreal (February 2000) and the Irreal Anthology (November 2013);“The Crystal” published in Penny Dreadful (July 2000); “In the Garden” published in Cafe Irreal (February 2010);“The Museum of North African Treasures” published in Lost Worlds (April 1993);“This Old Man” published in Skive (June 2011);“Solitary Confinement” published in Midnight Zoo (January 1992);“Love in a High-Tech Age” published in Aoife’s Kiss (June 2012);“A Journey Through the Wormhole” published in Perihelion Science Fiction (June 2013);“2038: A Mars Odyssey” published in Perihelion Science Fiction (September 2014);“Barnegat Inn” published in Perihelion Science Fiction (January 2015);“The Worms of Titan” published in Perihelion Science Fiction (June 2016);“Puff ” published in Perihelion Science Fiction (February 2017).
Pen-and-ink illustrations complement each of these nineteen stories spanning the literary genres of magical realism, horror, and science fiction.
In the title story, “A Betrayal,” a doctor travels into the countryside to help a young patient, only to deliver a diagnosis with which the girl’s family vehemently disagrees. The peculiar narrator of “Sedgefield’s Diary” recoils in horror when he discovers that the hourly diary he keeps has taken on a life of its own and now threatens his very existence. The bereaved wife in “The Lake of Flies” takes matters into her own hands when she learns the truth surrounding her husband’s death. In “Barnegat Inn,” a strange visitation becomes the background for a poignant recitation on the nature of time. The themes of loss and betrayal between rival siblings are explored in “The Crystal,” a story pulsating with an ethereal, otherworldly quality. And in “A Journey Through the Wormhole,” a decades-old feud between rival scientists threatens to upend a scientific revolution. Publisher: Rogue Star Press (May 20, 2018)
Brian Biswas has published over sixty short stories in the United States as well as internationally.
He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is listed in the International Writers and Authors Who’s Who, Marquis Who’s Who, and the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Brian writes in a literary style reminiscent of magical realism, irrealism, or fabulism, which attempts to convey a slightly exaggerated but internally consistent sense of reality. He also writes straightforward science fiction, fantasy, and horror (often tinged with fantastic elements).
He was born in Columbus, Ohio, received a B.A. in Philosophy from Antioch College in
Yellow Springs, Ohio and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, Elizabeth, and an ever changing assortment of animals.
And he works full-time for a company that just featured him in their newsletter:
In May, Brian’s “A Betrayal and Other Stories,” an anthology, was published by Rogue Star Press. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and bookstores worldwide.
Alice Whittenburg, coeditor of Cafe Irreal, a journal that comes out of Europe, published an in-depth, glowing review June 18, Reading at the Irreal Cafe: A Betrayal and Other Stories by Brian Biswas.
Perihelion Science Fiction book critic Carol Kean also posted raves like the one you are reading right here and now. 🙂
Back to the company newsletter–
Brian tells us more, below:
Is this positive review a big break for you?
Good reviews are so important for selling a book. But short story collections are notoriously poor sellers.
What do you enjoy about writing?
The satisfaction of getting a story out of my head and onto paper.
Describe your writing habits.
I write or edit just about every day. You have to do that. Otherwise, you lose momentum and it can be hard to pick things back up. Ideas flow easier when you work at it every day.
What keeps you motivated?
I can’t not write. Stories just bubble out.