cover image Strangers and Beggars

Strangers and Beggars

James Van Pelt. Fairwood Press, $17.99 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-9668184-5-1

Love gets sealed with the sacrifice of a finger, monsters roam high school hallways and invisible dwarves function as angels of death on a city bus: the fantastical intertwines with the quotidian in James Van Pelt's Strangers and Beggars. The 17 stories, divided into four sections (Teaching, Love, Death, Time), contemplate modern dystopias, offering, in the words of Bruce Holland Rogers's introduction, stories of ""things gone very wrong"" that still manage to feel uplifting not ""new maps of hell... [but] new maps out of hell.""