Quantum Convention

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Paperback ISBN-13: 9781574417364
Physical Description: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. 192 pp.
Publication Date: November 2018
Series: Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction | Volume: 17
  • Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2018
  • 2020 GLCA New Writers Award in Fiction

Quantum Convention’s eight genre-bending stories balance precariously between reality and fantasy, the suburban and the magical, the quotidian and the strange. Caught at a crossroads in his marriage, a high school teacher attends a parallel universe convention, where he meets his multiple selves and explores the alternate paths of life’s what-ifs.

The story of Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West, parallels the coming of age of a cross-dressing boy whose crisis of identity is tied to The Wizard of Oz. Other stories feature characters labeled as “outcasts” by society—whether physically, morally, or fantastically: an alcoholic lucid dreamer, a closeted bisexual, a bachelor time-epileptic, orphans-turned-keeners, a vengeful banshee, a nerdy cyclops, and more. Many struggle to find what Dorothy and her entourage searched for: the wisdom to trust or discount their faith; the ability of the emotionally detached to love; the courage to speak up for oneself; a place to belong.

“Eric Schlich’s stories are clever and moving and disarmingly precise.” —Dolan Morgan, author of That's When the Knives Come Down and Insignificana, and judge

About Author:

ERIC SCHLICH’s stories have won prizes from Crazyhorse, Fairy Tale Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Electric Literature, and New South. His fiction has also appeared in Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, and Redivider, among other journals. He received his PhD in English from Florida State University and his MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University. He lives in Dunkirk, New York, and teaches at SUNY Fredonia.