Winterfat

Alienated from family and country, Michael Rexroad is a US expatriate hiding out like a hermit in a tree house located in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. When he learns that the man who murdered his wife is now stalking his adult daughter, Micah returns home to protect her. To elude danger, he and his daughter embark on a road trip to Nevada’s Basin and Range, a location booby-trapped with old memories. Trying to repair their strained father-daughter relationship, they encounter a stranger who has intimate knowledge of their family history, forcing Micah to make a difficult choice.

Martian Book of the Dead

Ricky Plum has a secret. He fears his dead mother might now be an octopus. When not squabbling with his sister, he yearns for a girlfriend, but in the Age of Catastrophe, he has to settle for a holographic female who shape shifts into a crotchety bulldog. Ricky has other problems, too. A comet has demolished the Panama Canal, people mysteriously explode into ashes, and rhinos run amok on the San Diego Freeway. Also, his father wants to marry someone who might be a witch. As he grows into an adult, Ricky suffers severe personal losses. Falling in love, he encounters strange people and animals from the universe next door, causing him to question the durability of consensual reality.

The Skin Witcher

Think Gone Girl gets lost inside Gravity’s Rainbow. As an infant, Ma Yew was smuggled from North Korea and adopted by Ozzy and Gabby, two American social activists. Ma Yew has been bad news all twenty-five years of her life. Angry and depressed, she jumps in front of a coal train, hoping to die, but ends up in a bad section of town discussing gonzo metaphysics with a convenience store clerk named Hakim. Afterward, she encounters the “Trickster of Tattoos” and attends a performance at the “Theater of Failed Clowns.” A star-hopping Filipino headhunter soon offers her hope of escaping to a planet called “Oblivion,” but Ma Yew discovers that leaving earth isn’t so easy without first dealing with some painful memories.

Coyote Calls Down the Gods

Tommy Celilo is a short and bellicose man with bad eyesight, a paranoid personality, and a girlfriend who thinks he’s normal. He climbs trees with his ten-year-old daughter, but with no home or job, he’s behind on his child-support payments. Both his ex-wife and a prehistoric killer are hunting for him. Also, an annoying weather forecaster keeps screaming at him from digital billboards. Even worse, Tommy hasn’t any idea he’s a modern-day incarnation of Coyote, the Native American trickster, teacher, and sex-addicted buffoon destined to bring the scaffolding of Western Civilization crashing down.

High Noon on Come Along Slough

Imagine another modern allegory like George Orwell’s Animal Farm where all the animals are equal (except for those who are more equal.) Instead of a farm, though, the animals live on the “Slough,” a much beloved but polluted body of water that humans plan to turn into an “Industrial Sanctuary.” To save their habitat, fish, amphibians, fowl, and mammals form a “see-no-species” alliance called the USA—the United Slough of Animals. Power struggles ensue. Feathers and fur fly. An emotionally damaged stoat sells out to an approaching army of rats, and a homeless dog howls about global warming while Kawphonious (an addlepated raven) babbles on about a faraway, animal-friendly sanctuary.