cover image The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories

The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories

Eugen Bacon. Meerkat, $16.95 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-946154-31-6

Bacon (Claiming T-Mo) delivers a commanding and visionary collection of speculative shorts, encompassing surrealism, fantasy, science fiction, and gorgeous, painterly literary fiction. It would be a disservice to call any of these 24 stories the standout, as each is impressive and beautifully rendered in Bacon’s distinct, poetic voice. The stunning title story follows a pair of lovers on a tense road trip that grows increasingly surreal, told in rhythmic, abstract prose (“Tumbling down the stretch, a confident glide, the 4WD is a beaut, over nineteen years old. The argument is brand-new”). In the moving “Swimming with Daddy,” a little girl reflects on how her father taught her to swim. The humorous “Beatitudes” tells of the first meeting of a young siren and a salesman who has been turned into a toad. Science fictional offerings include “Ace Zone,” about a young woman traveling from planet to planet to draft soldiers into her battalion, and “Playback, Jury of the Heart,” a tale of love that transcends time and space. Complex, earnest, and striking, Bacon’s impeccable work is sure to blow readers away. Agent: Bieke van Aggelen, Van Aggelen African Literary. (Dec.)