Margarita Meklina’s flash “Waiting for Warhol,” originally written in English, was just published in Star 82 Review. Her short story “Ai Weiwei’s Owls,” translated from Russian by Krystyna A. Steiger, appeared in the newly released Reunion: The Dallas Review #3. Finally, her novella, “Death in the Air,” whose title refers to a Mexican neo-expressionist Julio Galán’s death on the plane from brain hemorrhaging, was picked up by the Japanese magazine Shuei-Sha, and is slated to be published, in Japanese translation, this year.
Margarita was a contributor to The Conium Review‘s Spring 2013 issue.
NewPages.com recently reviewed our latest issue. The reviewer says “I found myself constantly itching to find out what was going to happen next . . . ” and she was pretty impressed with Claude Clayton Smith’s novella from the issue. Natalie Peeterse also gets a shout out; the reviewer says “Sonora” ” . . . cuts to the core of experience . . . ” Take a look at the full review here.
Linda Boroff (a contributor to our Fall 2012
issue) recently won second place in the American Gem Short Screenplay and Literary Contest with her story, “The Spirit Upwelling.”
She also wrote an article on the film noir actress, Barbara Payton, which recently appeared in the fashion and arts magazine, FutureClaw
. The article includes several original photographs of her by Andre De Dienes.
Linda also signed an option agreement for her short story, “Light Fingers” with CAA and Brad Furman, director of The Lincoln Lawyer and Runner Runner.
Lastly, Linda is currently working on a novella, tentatively titled “Rabies.”
We’re pleased to announce the 2014 Innovative Short Fiction Contest. Innovative writing takes risks that pay off. Show us something new with your subject, style, setting, or characters. Be bold. Be creative. Get weird with it.
The winning writer receives $500, publication in The Conium Review, five free copies of the issue, and a copy of the judge’s book.
We’ll be open for contest submissions between December 15th and March 15th. Until then, check out the contest guidelines and get your manuscripts ready. You can also join our virtual mailing list if you want to get occasional e-mails about upcoming calls for submissions, contests, and other news.
Our judge is Manuel Gonzales. He is the author of The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Riverhead Books, 2013). He is also the current executive director of the Austin Bat Cave, a nonprofit writing center for children.
The Conium Review contributor Justin Campbell recently received the 2013 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award for African American College Writers for his novella excerpt, Sitting on the Knees of Gods. The award was established by novelist Marita Golden to honor excellence in fiction writing by students of African descent.
More information on the award is available here: http://www.hurstonwright.org/#!college-awards/cs3d
Campell’s story, “Super Tuscan,” appears in our Spring 2013 issue.
Heart of Scorpio
Written by Joseph Avski
Translated by Mark McGraw
Tiny TOE Press, 2012
Joseph Avski’s Heart of Scorpio
, translated from the Spanish by Mark McGraw, offers a bittersweet meditation on the trappings of fame and its discontents. Using the rise and fall of real-life fighter Antonio Cervantes Reyes as a template, the novella follows the meteoric ascent and tragically delusional crash of a fictional Columbian boxer named Milton Olivella.Haunted by the promise of his early career, Olivella has, by the start of the narrative, long since become a ghost of his former self, yet can’t stop imagining the glorious comeback that awaits him. He just needs to clean up his act, just needs to get back into training, just needs one more chance, and the world will once again be his.
“Tell [your mother] that soon I’ll be home to stay,” Olivella tells his estranged son, Julian, at one point. “I just need to wrap up a few impending issues, you know how it is. If I can get this thing ready, we can make a little money to start fresh, to get the life back that we used to have before. Tell her that we’re going to start a new life.”
Needless to say, Julian, who’s been a first-hand witness to his father’s complete emotional, physical, and financial collapse, isn’t buying what the former champion is selling. Yet Julian is deluded in his own way. Born at the height of Olivella’s popularity, he lacks the motivation to make a life for himself outside the boxer’s shadow. Instead, he wallows in self-pity, wishing he had the money, the clothing, and the social standing to make women want to “hit the sheets” with him—a phrase the character utters almost incessantly throughout the novella.That Olivella and his son eventually come to blows comes as no surprise. Theirs is a world where nearly all disputes are settled through violence. More often than not, however, it’s a tragic, desperate, impotent brand of violence that ultimately and without fail ends in self-destruction. There’s no winning, Heart of Scorpio
seems to argue on every page.
The best we can do is to wrap comforting narratives around the myriad failures that life inevitably delivers.
Review by Marc Schuster
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