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Eugen Bacon

The Burnished Sun (UQP, $29.99 pb, 288 pp) by Mirandi Riwoe, Danged Black Thing (Transit Lounge, $29.99 pb, 240 pp) by Eugen Bacon, and Sadvertising (Vintage, $32.99 pb, 298 pp) by Ennis Ćehić are powerful, inventive, and self-assured short story collections that traverse fractured and contested ground through their often displaced and alienated narrators.

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Eugen Bacon’s début short story collection, The Road to Woop Woop, plays with the genres of speculative fiction and magic realism. Using familiar tropes such as time travel, shapeshifting, and prescient characters, the stories typically refuse formulaic outcomes. The title story, for example, confounds expectations about the horror of bodily disintegration. The ominous angel of death in the story ‘Dying’ turns out to be a true wit. The surreal is transformed by the blessing of love in the heart-warming story ‘He Refused to Name It’.

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