Bittersweet Creek, a Chapbook
First printing, November 2003, 68 pp.
or send a check or a money order using this
in the Small Beer Press chapbook
series is author and publisher Christopher Rowe's Bittersweet
Creek, with a cover illustration by the wonderful Shelley
Rowe takes his storytelling seriously and, if
he can, with a generous bourbon on the side. (His readings are
not to be missed.) Rowe's recent stories, including "The
Force Acting on the Displaced Body" (the lead story in
the anthology Trampoline)
and "The Voluntary State", have taken him into new,
deep, and exciting literary territory and have brought him many
new and appreciative readers. Bittersweet Creek gathers
together some of his best stories from recent years and solidifies
his reputation as one of the up and coming writers in the speculative
"Rowe's work might remind you of that
of Andy Duncan. Both exemplify an archetypically Southern viewpoint
on life's mysteries, a worldview that admits marvels in the
most common of circumstances and narrates those unreal intrusions
in a kind of downhome manner that belies real sophistication."
"As smooth and heady as good Kentucky bourbon"
"'Men of Renown' is a herald of what Rowe
can do best: deal with time and place without limits."
Baptism on Bittersweet Creek
The Dreaming Mountains
What is This?
This smart, sleek, scary little
book is all about strange arrivals: girls coming up out of their
graves, giants from their junkyards, dragons from their river
beds. Add Rowe himself-- striding out of the Kentucky hills
into the sunlight of literature's regard. And he looks good
-- Terry Bisson (The
Christopher Rowe's stories are
the kind of thing you want on a cold, winter's night when the
fire starts burning low. They dance through godfearing communities
in the deep country with the unerring steps of a shaman's rite
to show that the division between Biblical and primal deities
is a perilous conceit. Reverent and irreverent in the same breath,
chilling and funny by turns, they deliver the full measure required
of short story tellers the world over; entertainment plus x,
where x is a measure of internal vertigo caused by a sudden
glimpse of a sheer drop. Terrific.
Robson (Natural History)
Christopher Rowe was a fine
writer when he was one of my students back at Clarion West,
in 1996; and he has only gotten better. Much better. And as
good as he is now, he'll keep getting better. Read these excellent
stories, and see what I mean.
--Jack Womack (Going,
About the Author:
story, "The Force Acting on the Displaced Body", is
the lead story in the anthology Trampoline
-- for which he answered these questions.
He lives in Lexington, KY. His fiction, poetry and essays have
appeared in Realms of Fantasy, JPPN,
Pulp Eternity, The
Dead Mule, and the anthologies Beyond the Last Star
Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold.
Rowe's poem "Our Prize Patrol Will Find You"
was published in LCRW 9.
He is the editor and publisher (with Gwenda Bond) of the magazine
Earlier this year Ideomancer posted an
and three of Rowe's stories: Horsethieves
and Preachermen, Kin
to Crows, and VFD
Adventures. Here's another short
is not him.
is his new blog.
About the Artist:
Jackson lives in a dark hole in a dark, dark hole in a dark,
dark, dark hole.
Some of the stories in Bittersweet Creek
appeared, in somewhat different form, in the following places:
"Baptism on Bittersweet Creek," Realms
of Fantasy, 1999; "Sally Harpe,"
Realms of Fantasy,
1999; "The Dreaming Mountains," Ideomancer
Unbound, 2002; "Kin to Crows," Realms
of Fantasy, 1998. "Men of Renown" appears here
for the first time.