Winner of the 2021 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Aleya's world starts to unravel after a café customer leaves behind a collection of short stories. Surprised and disturbed to discover that it has been dedicated to her, Aleya delves into the strange book...
A mad scientist seeks to steal his son's dreams. A struggling writer, skilled only at destruction, finds himself courted by Hollywood. A woman seeks to escape her body and live inside her dreams. Citizens panic when a new city block manifests out of nowhere. The personification of capitalism strives to impress his cutthroat boss.
The more Aleya reads, the deeper she sinks into the mysterious writer's work, and the less real the world around her seems. Soon, she's overwhelmed as a new, more terrifying existence takes hold.
The Lightning of Possible Storms blends humour and horror, doom and daylight, offering myriad possible storms.
About the author
Jonathan Ball is an award-winning author of dark, experimental artworks. He holds a PhD in creative writing and uses an analytical approach to show serious writers new ways to write, edit, and work so they can create innovative art that stands taller than the crowd. He is the author of numerous books, including Ex Machina (Book*hug), poetry about how machines have changed what it means to be human, Clockfire (Coach House Books), 77 plays that would be impossible to produce, The Politics of Knives (Coach House Books), poems about violence, narrative, and spectatorship, and winner of a Manitoba Book Award, and The National Gallery (Coach House Books). Jonathan also published John Paizs's Crime Wave (University of Toronto Press), an academic study of a neglected cult film classic, which was launched at the Toronto International Film Festival and also won a Manitoba Book Award. Jonathan has also directed short films, (including Spoony B, which sold to The Comedy Network), served as the managing editor of dANDelion magazine, and founded the literary journal Maelstrom. In 2014, Jonathan won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. He lives online at www.JonathanBall.com, where he writes about writing the wrong way. Jonathan currently lives in Winnipeg.
- Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
"The Lightning of Possible Storms is a genuinely bracing and exciting experience, profoundly unsettling and disorienting. Anyone who enjoys having their ass kicked by a book of fiction will not be disappointed." —The Miramichi Reader
"The Lightning of Possible Storms is an impressive clockwork construction of narrative cogs and gears that never loses sight of either its humanity or its nature as a manufactured work of art." —Quill and Quire
"All of these explorations of writing and art are surreal and fragmented, yet woven together masterfully. Each story is a collection of threads that seems meaningless until you begin to see how they connect, how the ideas and concepts come together to form a cohesive tapestry that is far greater than the sum of its parts." —Prairie Fire
"Ball’s interwoven stories create an immersive yet dizzying experience." —Broken Pencil Magazine
"This collection is so beautifully written and expertly composed—it is rich, layered, and complex. In every story, characters are forced to confront their secret, subterranean selves, their suppressed longings and anxieties, and the stories will linger with you long after you’ve finished them, much like the last strains of a beloved song. Witty, sad, sardonic, each story is its own masterpiece. This collection confirms Jonathan Ball as one of Canada’s very best writers." —Suzette Mayr, author of Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall
"Cheerfully horrifying, and full of the unexpected, The Lightning of Possible Storms is an entertaining Borgesian foray into the existential dread of writing itself." —Saleema Nawaz, author of Songs for the End of the World