OUR LAST featured story was about chess. With our new feature we’re staying on the theme of strategy and challenge, with Alan Swyer’s “Shut Up and Deal,” an examination of the machinations behind high-level poker playing. It’s a story about protege and mentor. About novice and knowledge. About learning a skill in the face of mind games and chaos. In other words, it’s a metaphor for life!
Written in a fast “pop” style, the story matches the speed of the game– and the hyperbolic process a student must undergo to be a success. We hope you enjoy it!
Radiating old money, the card room was a world which few civilians ever got to experience. Yet in the midst of captains of industry and scions of prominent families sat Eddie, who was seemed to be regarded as somehow less than human.
(Art: “The Card Players” by Theo van Doesburg.)
A different take on the American Dream from our previous story is Alan Swyer’s entertaining tale, “Only in America.” The mob meets high society. Who is Whitney St. Clair anyway? What is he doing, and why is he doing it? Find out!
Despite the fact that he could never quite shake the constant fear and trembling at 3 AM that his days as Whitney St. Clair might be numbered, the weeks that followed were a rollercoaster ride the likes of which the guy formerly known as Mickey Rose would never have even dared imagine.
We at NEW POP LIT have promised to showcase exciting lit talent wherever we find it. We’re also determined to remain topical.
Talk about timing! Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich was announced yesterday as winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. Where is Belarus, you ask? West of Russia; part of the old Soviet Union; at the crossroads still of dramatic historical events.
Stop the presses! We work fast– at least some of the time. Not ones to evah evah evah miss a trend, we present to you a leading writer from Belarus, Andrei Dichenko. Read his magical story about blue pots, Crimea, train rides and magical energy. The able translator is Andrea Gregovich, who appeared here last year with a story of her own about the world of professional wrestling. (Did I say trends?)
Alexander introduced himself as a tourist from Belarus, returned the girl’s smile, and began to peruse the little pots. They were blue, red, and green, and painted with mysterious runes and unfamiliar characters that made it feel as if they were asking for his hands to hold them.
Are you planning on doing much reading this Labor Day weekend? Make sure you include our latest story, “Joyride,” by Sonia Christensen. It’s a perfect suspensfully-tense story for a long weekend, especially if you’re driving someplace. As many people will be doing. The story, you see, is about a relationship, but it’s also about driving. Through mountains and trees, at night. Sonia Christensen has the ability to put you right there, in the kind of hypnotic mood that driving, at night, creates. Driving– then something happens. Read “Joyride” and escape into the literary dream. . . .
We hit a curve in the road and were in true mountain territory. Not on roads that didn’t have names yet, not on roads where there were no other cars, but roads where there were not many cars, roads where you start to feel like you can do anything, be anybody and there will be no one around to see you or stop you.