Hey everybody! We have some great news today that’s been some time in the making: past contributor Anthony Varallo, featured in the Fiction section of our 5th issue, has a new short story collection titled Everyone Was There, out now from Elixir Press. You can read the title story of the collection here, and when you’re finished, go ahead and grab the rest of the collection at this link here. Everyone Was There was the recipient of the Elixir Press 2016 Fiction Award, and we here at Superstition Review could not be any happier than to have been there along the way to this wonderful accomplishment.
Queen’s Ferry Press announces the final book of 2016, Anthony Varallo’s collection Everyone Was There.
Plano, TX—March 18, 2015 Queen’s Ferry Press, an independent publisher providing a venue for fine literary fiction, announced it will publish Anthony Varallo’s collection, Everyone Was There.
Everyone Was There will release in December, 2016.
About the Author:
Anthony Varallo is the author of This Day in History, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award; Out Loud, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; and Think of Me and I’ll Know(TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press). His stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Gettysburg Review, Epoch, New England Review, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and he has received an NEA Fellowship in Literature. Currently he is an associate professor of English at the College of Charleston, where he is the fiction editor of Crazyhorse.
Founded in 2011 as an independent publisher, Queen’s Ferry Press specializes in literary fiction. The press currently releases 6–12 titles a year, many from debut authors, and is the publisher ofShadows of Men, the 2013 recipient of the TIL Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction. For book updates please contact Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity of Queen’s Ferry Press, or visit www.queensferrypress.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity
How many spaces after a period, one or two? Space or double space? If you’re like me, old enough to remember typing your first research papers on your parents’ IBM Selectric, —ancient, even then, but thrilling nonetheless, the way the letters jumped from a center ball that spun and rotated across the page—then you probably prefer two spaces, even though, as you are becoming increasingly aware, typeset pages, like the ones you see in nearly every print publication of every kind, from the smallest circulation literary magazine to The New York Times, use a single space. Only. There is, as you must reluctantly admit, no such thing as double-spacing in print publication. A single space presides after every period. A space no different than the one after a comma or semi-colon. Yes, you know this; still, you use two spaces after each period. Why?
Because you took a typing class in seventh grade, for starters. The class met in a room fitted out with twenty manual typewriters resting atop twenty desks, the typewriters wearing a vinyl cover that could only be removed upon the instructor’s permission and, at the end of each session, carefully replaced, requiring you to position the typewriter’s carriage just so. The instructor was old, even by seventh grade teacher standards, and his voice shook as he called out the sentences you were to type, including—and this seems important—the spaces after each punctuation mark. Comma, space. Period, double space. The sound of twenty space bars double-spacing: a basketball dribbled twice. Failure to double space, a red instructor’s mark, a lower grade.
Because, in college, you upgraded to a portable word processor, heavy as a packed suitcase, but light enough to carry to the dorm lounge whenever your roommate had a visitor. The word processor stored your papers—documents, you began calling them, without quite realizing it—on disks, enabling you to save your work for later, the words on the page and yet not on the page, either, since you hadn’t printed them out yet, a new phrase to put alongside documents. Still, you wrote those words as if they would be printed out, because that’s what words aspired to, you began to realize, to be part of sentences to be printed out, and those sentences needed a punctuation mark at the end with two spaces after to give them their proper due. A pause. Breathing room. Authority.
Because, right after you traded in your portable word processor—that old thing!—for your first personal computer, you began writing short stories, and sentences suddenly seemed something larger than words on a page; they became individual brushstrokes on a canvas framed by top, bottom, right and left margins. Something to take time on, to linger upon, even for hours, as you did, drinking coffee late into the night. A sentence was a slow-born thing, you began to understand, and to finish one was a kind of honor, one that required a double space, as if to say, There, done, yes, made it, now it is so. The double space sent the cursor more forcefully into the blank page, to better accompany your mind, which suddenly had no idea how it had ever written a good sentence in the first place. For each sentence completed only sent you into the next sentence to be completed, where all the old challenges cropped up again—word choice, tone, grammar, syntax, style, clarity, coherence, precision—the completed sentence offering no clues where the next was to follow. Every sentence is a solo act. A truth the double space only wished you to know better. A truth a single space would rather you never learn.
Because you have tried using a single space, even though you won’t admit it. A phase that only lasted a few months or so, right around the time you started noticing that your students, born in the era when you traded the word processor for the PC, used a single space after periods. So you tried, for the sake of keeping up, for the sake of growing and changing, for the sake of not suffering potential embarrassment, always important to you. You single-spaced after each period. A feeling like walking on one foot. Like looking left, right, but not left again. Like parking bumper to bumper in a crowded lot. You couldn’t get the hang of it, so back to double-spacing you went, and where you have stayed. You can’t help it: you like the world a little bit better with double-spacing in it.
But what to do now? You have two children, and they both use computers, both like writing stories and jokes; sometimes even a screenplay, which they film with their iPods. Sometimes they need your help spelling certain words, help you are happy to give. You stand beside them as they type the word and reach the end of the sentence. You hold your breath after they type the period. The cursor blinks. Your children hesitate, about to ask another question. Space or double space?
Is there a better book than the book read elsewhere? Why are so many of the books I remember best strangely wrapped up in my sense of having read them elsewhere, away, far from home, outside the classroom, or miles from my bedside nightstand, where all those books I’ve been meaning to read—books I will likely read there, before sleep and not nearly elsewhere—lie unread?
For me, Stephen King’s Pet Sematary will always be the Book I Read on a Paddleboat, when I was 13 years old and staying at my aunt’s house in the Pocono Mountains. My aunt owned a house on a lake, and permitted my friend, cousin and I the use of a red paddleboat we had to unmoor from a dock slick with the splashes of kids in lifejackets, the boat always on the verge of sinking, or so we joked. The three of us would paddle to the center of the lake and read the books we’d purchased on the drive in, at a bookstore shaped like a log cabin, all mass market paperbacks, Dean Koontz, Louis L’Amour, and of course Stephen King. I chose Pet Sematary because it had the scariest cover, and because Stephen King had blurbed it himself as a book so scary it terrified him while he was writing it, and who wouldn’t want to read a book like that? My memory of that book is of a child getting hit by a truck while speedboats and water skiers sent our paddleboat rocking in their wake.
Rabbit, Run is the book I read while studying abroad in London, the book purchased the moment before I’d run out of money and was feeling homesick for Delaware, my unremarkable and not terribly literary home state, which, in the opening pages of Updike’s novel, is only a few minutes away from Brewer, Pennsylvania, where Rabbit Angstrom works a bad job, argues with his wife, and recalls his days of basketball glory. I remember reading the book in our student flat at the top of a stairway that led to a rooftop we were forbidden to explore—hidden away—as Rabbit, in the opening chapter, goes on a solo drive through Pennsylvania, taking a series of turns that nearly takes him to Delaware. I turned the pages, thinking Rabbit was surely about to pull up in my driveway.
I read The Old Man and the Sea while staying at a friend of a friend’s house in Connecticut, part of some road trip I took the summer before I left for college. I’d been put in the guest bedroom, which had a twin bed and a desk with a bookshelf on top: I’d always meant to read The Old Man and the Sea, but had never gotten around to it, and was always sort of afraid that someone would ask me if I had read it—you mean you haven’t read The Old Man and the Sea?—and part of the pleasure of reading it now was my realization that no one would see me taking it down from the shelf each night and hence would never know that I’d just read it in the span of a weekend, and could now answer yes if anyone asked me about The Old Man and the Sea, a power I now felt I held in reserve, at the ready.
I’m traveling again in March: I will have to pack some of those bedside books, the ones I’ve been putting off forever, so that they might be read elsewhere.
Hello SR readers,
The team at Superstition Review is happy to announce that issue 5 is now online.
Many thanks to all of the student interns, faculty advisors, and supporters who made this possible. I hope you enjoy the magazine.
Patricia Colleen Murphy,