The Big Red Herring
(KERNPUNKT Press 2019) (Amazon) (Bookshop) (SPD)

In this latest work by Andrew Farkas, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies, not enemies. The moon landing was a hoax filmed by Stanley Kubrick. The Space Race and the Cold War were diversions enacted to cover up the biggest secret ever kept.

But Wallace Heath Orcuson (Wall to his friends) has more immediate problems to deal with. He’s just woken up in an apartment he’s never seen before. There’s a dead body under his couch. It’s his girlfriend’s husband, a man named “Senator” Kipper Maris.

Meanwhile, at a donut shop, a radio narrator, who’s been forced to adopt the name Edward R. Murrow, reads Wall’s story. He hates it. He wants to change it. The problem: Murrow is a narrator, not a writer, and the penalty for altering a manuscript is death. Luckily for Murrow, his boss, “Senator” Kipper Maris, was recently murdered. So maybe no one will notice. Or maybe there’s a reason for the rule.

​But you can’t find out what’s in Pandora’s box until it’s opened, right?

Who wants to see what’s inside?

Sunsphere
(BlazeVOX [books] 2019) (Amazon) (Bookshop) (SPD)

The Sunsphere is a 266-foot-tall green truss structure topped by a gold glass sphere that was built as the symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair (also known as the Knoxville International Energy Exposition). Actually, the Sunsphere stands 6,520 feet tall and is composed of a black, cylindrical base capped by a miniature neutron star. Well, the Sunsphere Shot Tower, made entirely of brick, manufactures shot for shotguns. But then, the Sunsphere is 1,000 feet tall and composed of a green tower and a pulsing orb of blue lightning. Really, the Sunsphere is dilapidated, covered in tarps, and likely to be torn down soon. Or maybe, Sunsphere Ziggurat is a massive conceptual art installation constructed by an underground organization called the KnoxVillains. Certainly, Sunsphere, a collection of nine formally innovative fictions, focuses on characters obsessed with ideas of energy and entropy, focuses on characters who are trying to figure out how to continue on in a world that is falling apart, who are trying to learn how to act in a world that is constantly changing. In the face of social collapse, some characters find solace in the logic of puzzles, in the conventions of art, in outdated ideas of empire and romance, in the lure of pop culture, in academia and politics. But at the core of this collection is a search for humanity, even when the very atmosphere appears to demand the inhumane.

Self-Titled Debut
(Subito Press 2009) (Amazon)

“Andrew Farkas is an infernal calculating engine producing in Self-Titled Debut a mess o’ finely machined machine-like fictions. There is a sublime relentlessness in the generative power of the permutations at all levels from word to sentence to paragraph to page. He exhausts exhaustion effortlessly. These inventive hypoxic hieroglyphs gin-up ingeniously a whole new notion of the genus: story and the species: short. Some debut indeed.”

Michael Martone
Author of Michael Martone and The Blue Guide to Indiana