A former poet laureate reads her most controversial poem yet at a protest for the removal of a colonial statue deemed racist, but the demonstration takes a turn for the worse when the Proud Boys arrive. The Weight of Skin is the gripping and (tragically) urgent story of home-grown Canadian xenophobia as told from three different perspectives. The Blasted Tree has published a limited edition of 50 hand-bound chapbooks featuring The Weight of Skin, each produced using three types of paper (one for each narrator: granite-grey stationary, red card stock, and white onionskin) and bound in black fabric. Brandon Teigland’s story can be read by following the link below, and copies of the chapbook can be purchased from our online store.
"Tell me the story of the dog of the sea." Returning home to the island of her grandmother, a young woman must also revisit and confront a family history shrouded in myth and danger. Is there any truth in the tale of El Perro del Mar, the ghostly dog stealing people from the beach? In her first Blasted Tree publication, author Maria Mon reweaves the magic bonds of narrative that connect family and friends down through generations.
El Perro del Mar is part of The Blasted Tree's ongoing series of Short(er) Fiction, stories 2500 words or less. Check out the series online for more great experimental and microfiction!
Hailing from beautiful Victoria, Dana Neily is the newest author on The Blasted Tree's growing line-up of emerging Canadian talent. Neily uses her writing as a means of drawing attention to mental illness and neuroatypical experiences, advocating for compassion and understanding in regards to mental health. ONE DAY'S BATTLE, published in our Short(er) Fiction series, speaks directly to these issues, illuminating the daily struggle between the protagonist and a surreal manifestation of Death. Additionally, we are please to bring you two of Neily's poems, AN ESCAPIST'S FANTASY and the comically titled AIM FOR AN 'OCEAN'S 11' RATHER THAN A 'RESERVOIR DOGS' BUT EITHER WAY WE WILL LOOK KILLER IN SUITS. Read her work online, then check out her bio using the link below!
Toys aren't the only inanimate objects with rich inner and interpersonal stories. Meet Room and Fan, a couple of "things" who get to know each other through their mutual acquaintance, the human being Tony. All Day Breakfast, Smilovitch's debut on The Blasted Tree, experiments with extreme perspective and abrupt narrative shifts to bring you into the word of every day objects. Just because Tony isn't there doesn't mean his stuff isn't going about its business...
All Day Breakfast is one of three original stories appearing in our brand new chapbook Short(er) Fiction Vol. 3, now available from The Blasted Tree Store!
Living in the country has it's perks: fresh air, freedom, and lots of terrain to explore. But when the economy begins to struggle, working class people take the first hit. The country then becomes a place of suffocating boredom, desperation, and racial tension. Township is the suspenseful story of Cole and Boyd, two out-of-work young men chasing fortune and adventure down the back roads of rural Canada. Ivan Fischer's anxiety-filled portrait of small town living is free to read online and quality chapbooks of the story can be purchased from The Blasted Tree Store.
When Mitch Findlay submitted this, his second outing with The Blasted Tree, he promised us two things: puppets and sex. Aptly titled, Wood is the darkly funny story of a songbook, a twisted fixation, and the... complicated relationship that follows. Come meet Charlie, Levy, and The Monster, three musical puppets from a beloved children's show who are sure to make a lasting impact on your life. Findlay's hardboiled style never fails to impress, especially when animating such playful subject matter. Read Wood online, then buy the chapbook from The Blasted Tree Store!
An experimental piece of short fiction by Ivan Fischer, Your Own Devices confronts our over-dependence on smart phones. Whether it be forming a new relationship, catching up with old pals, or finding the way home, our actions are increasingly moderated by technology. Rather than making life better, smart phones may have some all-too-familiar negative consequences. Fischer asks, "What happens when the battery dies?"
Working in an office can be deadly boring - the same menial tasks to complete day after day, the endless hum of fluorescent tube lighting, and the constant threat of a supervisor sticking their nose into the sacred space of your cubicle all lead to a week-long case of "the Mondays." But when an employee's mind starts to wander, worrisome thoughts can sneak in about the most innocuous of things. Michelle Browne's debut on The Blasted Tree tackles just such thoughts and will leave you squirming in your ergonomic desk chair. The Box is part of our ongoing Short(er) Fiction series, collecting the best Canadian short stories under 2,500 words!
Nowadays, deep space exploration rides a fine line between fiction and reality. New discoveries are made almost daily while technology rapidly catches up with the wildest imaginings of the most creative authors and futurologists. And yet, space exploration is not without its risks and consequences. Muir tackles this problem in his second contribution to our Short(er) Fiction series, offering a compelling vision of humanity found in the blackness of space. Clarity in Darkness, profound as it is brief, can be read using the link below, and don't forget to check out Short(er) Fiction Volumes 1 and 2 at The Blasted Tree Store!
Summer is finally here, and for many students and 20-somethings this means one thing only: it's time to party! These are the magic days of one's youth, that amorphous period of transition from the recklessness of our teenage years to the responsibility of adulthood. But sometimes, both in life and in social gatherings, it can feel as though you've been tossed right in the deep end and left to figure things out on your own. Swimming Lessons, our first chapbook-length short story of 2015, is more than just the tale of one such party - it's Bridgeman's ingenious metaphor for the tides of life rising up around you.