Sweet Spring

Pop Lit Fiction

We’re near the end of spring– early enough for cool summer reading as heat descends upon the landscape.

Questions: Are there forces in the universe beyond our understanding? Does a talisman actually work?

These questions are asked in our new story, “Sweet Spring” by Scott Cannon, one of our favorite writers. If you want an enjoyable read, this is it!

It was dark within, but I thought I saw something pale in the heart of it. I was shoulder deep in the roots when I heard you ask if I found anything. My hand closed on something cool and smooth, and I drew it out.

(Painting: “Springtime in Giverny” by Claude Monet.)




Today we start an ambitious series examining a new wave of talented writers. Our plan is to combine literary criticism, reviews, and new fiction for a multi-faceted look at American literature NOW; utilizing as many aspects of the New Pop Lit website as possible.

First up: The opening installment of a far-reaching overview, “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age.”

AT THE SAME TIME we present for readers a new short story, “Yacht Party,” from Scott Cannon, one of two narrative writers profiled in our essay, along with Tom Ray.


Does Scott’s story support the words expressed in the essay? You decide!

The scene froze at its climax; a spotlight haloed the head of the actor playing Lucas on the screen, then swept to the back of the room to light up the incandescent entrance of The Man himself, flanked by two beautiful women and followed by a small cadre of security. The thunder of the ovation in the packed ballroom as he ascended to the podium still rang in Lucas’ ears.


Pushcart Time



All Hail Pushcart! Yes, we’re one of the many small literary outfits who applaud the Pushcart Prize collections– though we have reservations. To discover what they are, and at the same time find out which works we nominated for the annual awards this year, read this.

Have we missed the boat this year with our picks? Are we all wet? Living in Fantasyland? Let us know!


This week we’ve also kicked off a can’t miss Cat Poetry Festival at our Fun Pop Poetry feature, here.

Ergo Propter Hoc

Pop Lit Fiction

What makes a great short story? What elements create an unforgettable reading experience?

Part of the proper mix has to be character, setting, and reality– crafting a place in space so visceral and authentic you can jump into it with your mind.

Part of it is simply hooking the reader like Hemingway hooking a marlin. Then keeping the reader hooked on the narrative line right to the end.

We believe Scott Cannon achieves this with his newest story for us, “Ergo Propter Hoc.” Why the unusual title? Well, the story has to do with the legal profession, and a process server, a lawyer; a search and a situation. . . . But read the story!

The guy half turned to him. His hand on the bar next to Eddie was the size of a small ham. Dime shaped scabs covered the first three knuckles. “Ever been to San Francisco?” the guy asked.

Lucid Dreamer: Conclusion

Pop Lit Fiction

Have you read Part I of Scott Cannon’s “Lucid Dreamer”? The character– and ourselves– have plunged into the alluring world of lucid dreams– dreams as real as life. Now the dreams will become more interesting. . . .

The unsettling conclusion of “Lucid Dreamer” is up! Read it if you dare.

He moved to leave, remembering that with his dream awareness and the control of lucidity he could find his way out, or make the tent maze disappear entirely and transport himself to some other place if he felt like it.

(When you finish, be sure to read our interview with imaginative writer Scott Cannon.)


Lucid Dreamer Part I

Pop Lit Fiction

Are you an imaginative person?

Are you easily frightened?

Take care reading this story: “Lucid Dreamer,” by Scott Cannon. One of the best stories we’ve ever published. It may be the scariest, or creepiest, or most unsettling story you’ll ever read.

What’s lucid dreaming, you ask? You’re about to find out. Encounter Part I of the tale– and plunge into the world of your own head.

“But really, as an adult? I can’t think of one time a dream has scared me awake. If that’s what you mean by nightmares. You know, the kind where your heart is just pounding and you kind of just thrash out of it. . .” His voice trailed off and his eyes lost focus for a moment. Ashlee’s smile went away and her gaze sharpened.