Acres of Perhaps: Stories and Episodes

Will Ludwigsen. Lethe, $15 trade paper (198p) ISBN 978-1-59021-365-0
The third collection from Shirley Jackson Award finalist Ludwigsen builds on its title story, a tale of a fictional old TV show and its creators that avoids most of the worst sins of stories focused on writers and invokes the better tropes (“Then, being writers, we spent the night getting drunk and bitching about the money men”). Ludwigsen expands his original story with the five titular “episodes,” brief synopses of fictional Acres of Perhaps shows. But the real meat of the collection is in the remaining stories, particularly “The Zodiac Walks on the Moon,” which dodges the clichés associated with tales about real serial killers, and instead explores how the Zodiac killer might have reacted to the Apollo 11 moon landing (“I understand the impulse to look up, though. To wonder”). Ludwigsen goes to the serial killer well again with “Night Fever,” reimagining Charles Manson in the late-’70s disco scene in New York City, mostly from the perspective of those around him who are affected by his actions. It’s a simple conceit that works magnificently. There are no duds in this small collection, and the highlights will easily win Ludwigsen a number of new fans. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
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