Celia’s body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of biomechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder.

But a bioiandroid isn’t a real person. Not according to the protesters outside Celia’s house, her coworkers, or even her wife. Not according to her own evolving view of herself. As she begins to strip away the human affectations and inhibitions programmed into her new body, the chasm between the warm pains of flesh-and-blood life and the chilly comfort of the machine begins to deepen. Love, passion, reality, and memory war within Celia’s body until she must decide whether to betray old friends or new ones in the choice between human and machine.

Fight For Your Long Day

Fight For Your Long Day is a day-in-the-life tragicomedy that follows the eventful unraveling of Cyrus Duffleman, a portly, down-and-out educator who teaches classes at four urban universities and works the night shift, all so he could barely stay afloat in an increasingly “efficient” service economy.

This dark satire, set in the modern, super-information age of “terror squared,” embodies the American-made irony of being an overworked, overwrought and marginalized citizen in a once-wealthy and industrious country.

Watermark plot points twist and turn as students protest, get laid, practice murder, and commit suicide, while “Duff,” the novel’s lovable loser, trudges along from pillar to post with his overstuffed book bag and perversely cynical thoughts.

In The Shadow of Swords

When the assassin Ciris Sarn, murders Hiril Altaïr, he unwittingly leaves behind the legendary Books of Promise. They come into the hands of Hiril’s vengeful widow, Marin, and she becomes a target even as she hunts for her husband’s murderer. Meanwhile, Fajeer Dassai, a brutal kingmaker, plots to retrieve the fabled treasure to make himself wealthy beyond imagination. His only obstacle is Pavanan Munif, a capable, but drug-addicted tracker. Soon assassins, sheikhs, spies, and viziers are all embroiled in a potentially world-shattering conspiracy racing to an inevitable showdown where violence and murder is the only path to true redemption.

Late Rain

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, August 2011.

Corrine Tedros is a Lady Macbeth wannabe who sets in motion the murder of her uncle-in-law (a soft-drink mogul), and things go awry when the murder is witnessed by a senior citizen in the late stages of Alzheimers. Things are complicated by the fact that the daughter of the man with Alzheimers is involved with a former homicide detective who has resigned and moved South in an attempt to reshape and simplify his life; on his own, Decovic starts to make connections in the case that cause Corrine Tedros to up the ante in keeping herself out of the murder investigation.

Cover photo by Chris Darling.

Someday This Will Be Funny

The stories in Some Day This Will Be Funny marry memory to moment in a union of narrative form as immaculate and imperfect as the characters damned to act them out on page. Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, presides over the ceremony; Clarence Thomas, Marvin Gaye, and Madame Realism mingle at the reception. Narrators—by turn infamous and nameless—shift within their own skin, struggling to unknot reminiscence from reality while scenes rush into warm focus, then cool, twist, and snap in the breeze of shifting thought. Epistle, quotation, and haiku bounce between lyrical passages of lucid beauty, echoing the scattered, cycling arpeggio of Tillman’s preferred subject: the unsettled mind. Collectively, these stories own a conscience shaped by oaths made and broken; by the skeleton silence and secrets of family; by love’s shifting chartreuse. They traffic in the quiet images of personal history, each one a flickering sacrament in danger of being swallowed up by the lust and desperation of their possessor: a fistful of parking tickets shoved in the glove compartment, a little black book hidden from a wife in a safe-deposit box, a planter stuffed with flowers to keep out the cooing mourning doves. They are stories fashioned with candor and animated by fits of wordplay and invention—stories that affirm Tillman’s unshakable talent for wedding the patterns and rituals of thought with the blushing immediacy of existence, defying genre and defining experimental short fiction.

Cover background image by Charles Orr