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Fiction Humorous


by (author) Spencer Gordon

Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
Humorous, Literary, Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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Through ten incendiary and mercurial stories, Cosmo will take you on a wild ride over the churning waters of pop culture and the malaise of our solitary existence.


An admirer of Miley Cyrus performs a three-thousand word sentence in defence of his passion. Actor Matthew McConaughey descends into a surreal, stupefying desert of the soul. An aging porn star dons a grotesque dinosaur costume to film the sex scene of his life. Such are the speakers and stars of a collection of stories that explode the conventions of short fiction.

Though shifting wildly in tone, structure and perspective from one page to the next, each of these mercurial stories is drenched in pop culture, the distancing effects of modern communication and the malaise of solitary existence. At their core, these stories are a portrait of ordinary people (as well as celebrities – they’re just like us!) striving, thinking, and suffering alone.

About the author

Spencer Gordon is a writer, editor and post-secondary school instructor, teaching at Humber College and OCAD University. He is the co-editor/co-founder of Ferno House, the micro-press, and of The Puritan, the online literary journal. His poetry chapbook Feel Good! Look Great! Have a Blast! was nominated for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award. Spencer Gordon's fiction, poetry and non-fiction can be found in numerous literary journals and anthologies, such as Riddle Fence, Event, The Windsor Review, dead(g)end(er), The Maple Tree Literary Supplement, subTerrain, The Barnstormer, Broken Pencil Magazine, The Mansfield Revue, Existere, Contemporary Verse 2, echolocation, Joyland: A hub for short fiction, Soliloquies, Weijia Quarterly, Dinosaur Porn (Ferno House, 2010), Gulch: An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose (Tightrope Books, 2009), ottawater, Bywords Quarterly Journal, The Danforth Review, The Puritan, experiment-o (AngelHousePress, 2008), Departures (above/ground press, 2008) and zaum.

Spencer Gordon's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Try any first page here, and, if you are not mouth agape with voyeuristic thrill, then this writer is not Spencer Gordon, one of the most daring writers I've ever come across. These stories read like collaborations between Stephen King and TMZ with Borges and Nabokov on the edits. Each short story sounds with the thunder of a novel. Enthralling, dark, gut-busting stuff!" —Jeff Parker, author of Ovenman and Igor in Crisis: A Russian Journal

"Cosmo succeeds not only as a well-wrought and keenly written collection of narratives, but also as a work of analysis ... a rare book in that it is brave enough to explore the ways in which being loved in private has a very real counterpoint in public, in the form of fame, public identity and cultural cache. In doing so, Gordon dissects the very idea of the authentic in an increasingly public world in which the self is ever more constructed." National Post

"Though offering a gaudy all-you-can-eat spread of pop/junk cultural references, the book selects its menu wisely, hitting both the salad bar and the sundae counter in equal measures, as it were ... the care and craft of these stories, both in their form and in prose [is] playfully enthusiastic and digressive, yet rarely overstuffed, burrowing into the knottiness of humanity while avoiding the hazards of total schmaltz. For example, he would likely do much better with a half-assed buffet metaphor than was attempted above." —HTMLGiant

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