cover image The Court of Lies

The Court of Lies

Mark Teppo. Fairwood (, $17.99 trade paper (298p) ISBN 978-1-933846-44-6

Fascinating and quirky characters come together in this excellent collection of short stories by Teppo (Heartland). The included works range in length from the brief, poignant “How the Mermaid Lost Her Song” to the superb concluding novelette, “A Christmas Wish (Redux),” in which Santa goes on a single-minded quest to find a dead parent for a child and takes on the mathematical complexity of the afterlife in the process. Teppo weaves in and out of the worlds he’s created in his novels, using rich and descriptive language (“Truth was such a devalued coin that it couldn’t purchase a condom”). Several of Teppo’s entries are non-traditional, including “The Nihil Nation Manifesto,” a story in the form of record liner notes. Even the linear plots feature twists and turns, thanks to unreliable narrators. This collection is a true hit for Teppo’s fans and new readers alike. (July)