New Short Fiction: “Moontanning, A Report”

Howdy from a gas station between Crofton and Catalyst.


The first image of “Moontanning, A Report” coalesced on a glorious summer’s night. Walking outside under a full moon, I pictured a runaway in a forest’s clearing. He was on the ground, in a face-up suntanning position. At the time I pictured a kid having run away from home in order to prove to doubting parents that a tan from moonlight wasn’t a scientific impossibility.
In the interim between that evening (like, three years ago) and the version published in Plenitude Magazine, the plot stuck with the kid. Other than that, though, it grew in an altogether different direction.

Here’s how it begins:

Moontanning, A Report

Using a plastic tool, Mother had demonstrated the art of peeling a navel orange four breakfasts in a row. I’d understood in about a second. Slice, slice, slice, slice. “There’s a technique to it too,” she told me. “From north pole to south in one precision movement. Then repeat.”
“Longitude, never latitude,” Mother said. “Take that to your Mr. Snikes.” My teacher had the special power, she’d decided, to curdle milk with his sour outlook. She thought learning should be fun, an adventure.
But after the first lesson, watching her slide the blade’s tip slowly toward the navel wasn’t fun.

(The rest can be found here. I hope you enjoy it!)


An Interview with the Vancouver Sun about ‘Oldness’

At the Vancouver Sun, arts editor Aleesha Harris posed some questions to me about Oldness, and I was both grateful for her interest and happy to respond.
Here’s part of “Author Q&A: Vancouver Writer’s New Book About ‘Becoming Older and Realizing Your Social Capital Has Shrunk'”—

It’s not always easy getting old. Vancouver author Brett Josef Grubisic explores this point, in a delightfully disarming way, in his latest work Oldness; or, the Last-Ditch Efforts of Marcus O.
The novel follows a man named Marcus who grapples with life in his mid-60s, including dating, revenge and more — not always with the greatest grace.
We caught up with Grubisic to learn more about the book, aging and the one thing we can all see in Marcus that can likely be found within ourselves:
Q: How would you describe Oldness, or the Last-Ditch Efforts of Marcus O, in three words?
A: Gee, that’s tough. Brevity isn’t my first instinct. How about this: ‘Wisdom despite oneself.’

The rest of the interview can be found here.


Review #3 for Novel #4

Nancy Wigston’s review of Oldness in the Toronto Star ends with this:

“Grubisic’s take-no-prisoners assault on academia, loneliness, western real estate – all our current craziness – arrives like a satirical tsunami, earning its place among the finest dystopias.”

The rest can be found here.