Curbside-DesertPlacesIn October, the earth is going to split into two pieces. One side will be ruled by Amber Sparks, author of the stellar May We Shed These Human Bodies, a short story collection from small publisher Curbside Splendor. Chicago knows something about books, even in the devastation of the future. Try reading Sparks’ “Bird with Teeth” over at The Collagist.

The other side will remain in the hands of Robert Kloss, a man who built a world of ash and alligators in his volatile, biblical take on the Civil War, The Alligators of Abraham from the now defunct Mudluscious Press. Find a copy before they all blow away into the wind. Or maybe read Kloss’ “The Souls of Alligators” over at Corium.

The gaping chasm between them will be filled by Matt Kish’s creatures, twisted and deformed by his pen onto the devastation of the page. His work in Moby Dick in Pictures: One  Drawing for Every Page and the upcoming Heart of Darkness from Tin House only bodes well for our doomed future.

In October, the world will know their wrath. The world will come apart at its seams with no stich to hold it. Evil will sprout without seeds or light or water. It will grow on its own. No one needs to tend its festering plot.

At least this is how I understand The Desert Places, forthcoming from Curbside Splendor in October 2013. Probably none of this is true. This hybrid text features Sparks and Kloss as they explore “the evolution of evil in worlds both seen and unseen,” flexing the talent they’ve already established on their own in the last few years. Kish will document the madness with some images that might burn themselves into your retinas.

We may be lucky enough to read it before all that forecasted oblivion arrives. Toronto is already flooding and the sky is getting closer to crashing down every day. Or maybe it just feels that way.

I will wait it out though. I still have a lot of books to read.

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