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Kevin Brockmeier

(1972- )
Kevin Brockmeier was born in Florida. His family moved to Arkansas when he was a child. Brockmeier attended Missouri State University. He has published three novels, two YA novels and two short story collections. Brockmeier worked for a few summers in a daycare center and that heightened his interest in writing for children. He won the O. Henry award in 2000 and 2002. He currently lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.


The Illumination: Brockmeier never shies away from the hard questions

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

[In our Edge of the Universe column, we review mainstream authors that incorporate elements of speculative fiction into their “literary” work. However you want to label them, we hope you’ll enjoy discussing these books with us.]

Two themes drive Kevin Brockmeier’s The Illumination. The first is a fantasy motif, placing this novel right on the line that separates the best fantasy from the genre-that-won’t-admit-it’s-a-genre, i.e., the literary novel. This motif is the Illumination itself: beginning at 8:17 on a Friday night, every spot of pain on every human’s body begins to shine, a bright light emanating from the impacted heel of a woman in high heels, a cavity in the mouth of a politician, the sore spot on the back of a const... Read More

The Ghost Variations: A collection of 100 flash stories

The Ghost Variations by Kevin Brockmeier

The Ghost Variations (2021) by Kevin Brockmeier is a collection of 100 flash stories, all involving ghosts, though the meaning of that word is stretched in some of them. In structure, style, flavor, and tone, the collection reminded me most of Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman, although it also calls up echoes of Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges.

The stories are grouped into various sections, such as “Ghosts and Memory,” “Ghosts and Nature,” “Ghosts and Love and Friendship,” and “Ghosts and Family.” In addition... Read More

SHORTS: Lemberg, Brockmeier, Das, Bishop, Bolander

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few of the stories we read this week. 

“The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar” by Rose Lemberg (March 2016, free at Uncanny Magazine, Kindle magazine issue)

In this lush story, Lemberg shows us a long-distance romance developing between two makers-of-things. Maru lives in the desert and sings sand into glass; Vadrai lives in the Northern woods and uses deepnames to inscribe images into jewels. Each is enchanted with the work of the other, and through letters — over a four-year span, because letters must travel with me... Read More

Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy 3: New authors for my watch list!

Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy 3 edited by Kevin Brockmeier

On a hypothetical chart, with high epic fantasy in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien and Stephen Donaldson on one end and (for want of a better term) the magical realism of Gabriel García Marquez and Graham Joyce on the other, the twenty stories in the excellent Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy 3 fall, for the most part, close to or smack on the latter extreme of the scale. If you then add a y-axis, describing how pulpy a story is, everything in this collection would trend towards the end of the scale where the most accomplished and literary pieces of short fiction reside. Read More