Cafe Reads: Jackie’s Boy by Steven Popkes

A review of Jackie’s Boy, a post-apocalyptic Huck Finn: Eleven-year-old orphan Michael scrabbles to survive the violent chaos after deliberate plagues killed 99% of the world’s population. He still writes letters to Mom. Jackie, an elephant bioengineered to speak, has … Continue reading


On Becoming a Professional Amateur: Verbs—Choose Wisely

Sample paragraph: I saw Hal coming toward me across the office commons, waving. “What did the boss say?” he screeched. I shook my head and waved him away. “I don’t want to talk about it, Hal.” “Oh, Ron,” he squealed. … Continue reading


BVC Announces Jackie’s Boy by Steven Popkes

In a violent new America infested with disease and mutated creatures, Michael, an eleven-year old orphan, and Jacki, a sophisticated, intelligent, articulate elephant, set out on a journey of discovery and survival through the post-apocalyptic ruins. It means facing out of control agribots, bioengineered lily pads, crocodiles, and bad men with guns.

Michael can hardly wait.

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Hip new narrative strategies are . . . not so new

These days there has been a lot of talk about daring narrative voices and experimental playing with fiction and truth (as in real life experience, to skirt around the gigantic elephant of what constitutes “truth”), and it’s great that more … Continue reading


The Rambling Writer Visits Thailand, part 17: more Baan Kratig

Stay with Thor and me as your virtual Thailand vacation continues at the beautiful Phuket shoreline and sea. NOTE: “And now for something completely different.” Thor and I made our first trip to Asia — the beautiful country of Thailand. … Continue reading