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Keith Rosson

SMOKE CITY NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK

We are stoked to celebrate the paperback release of SMOKE CITY by Keith Rosson. This is one of the most unique books we’ve ever come across and the recent announcements that the book is a finalist for both the Foreword Book of the Year Award (fantasy) and the Benjamin Franklin Award (science fiction & fantasy) were perfect timing for the paperback release of the book! If you haven’t read this wonderful book yet, we hope that you’ll give it a try.

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Smoke City

Smoke City

     Now in Paperback!

2019 IPPY Award Silver Medalist
2019 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Winner
Powell's Books Best Fiction of 2018

Marvin Deitz has some serious problems. His mob-connected landlord is strong-arming him out of his storefront. His therapist has concerns about his stability. He’s compelled to volunteer at the local Children’s Hospital even though it breaks his heart every week. Oh, and he’s also the guilt-ridden reincarnation of Geoffroy Thérage, the French executioner who lit Joan of Arc’s pyre in 1431.

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About the Book
Marvin Deitz has some serious problems. His mob-connected landlord is strong-arming him out of his storefront. His therapist has concerns about his stability. He’s compelled to volunteer at the local Children’s Hospital even though it breaks his heart every week.Oh, and he’s also the guilt-ridden reincarnation of Geoffroy Thérage, the French executioner who lit Joan of Arc’s pyre in 1431. He’s just seen a woman on a Los Angeles talk show claiming to be Joan, and absolution seems closer than it’s ever been . . . but how will he find her?When Marvin heads to Los Angeles to locate the woman who may or may not be Joan, he’s picked up hitchhiking by Mike Vale, a self-destructive alcoholic painter traveling to his ex-wife’s funeral. As they move through a California landscape populated with “smokes” (ghostly apparitions that’ve inexplicably begun appearing throughout the southwestern US), each seeks absolution in his own way.

Recent Press

  • State of Wonder, OPB – “Take A Weird Road Trip In Keith Rosson’s Latest Novel, ‘Smoke City'” – Taped Interview
  • Powell’s Best Fiction of 2018 – “”Rosson tackles the big life questions in this book, picking apart themes of purpose, redemption, suffering, forgiveness, addiction, passion, talent, guilt, the unknowable nature of life and death, the ways in which we help each other and the ways in which we hinder, the joy of living and the anticipation of death, and the absolute necessity of an examined life. His talent is staggering, his craft is meticulous, and his story is one of the quirkiest but most heartfelt I have ever read. He will clench your heart and drag you through his landscape of horror and bliss. You’ll be so utterly grateful for it.” – Full Article
  • Foreword Reviews (starred review) – “A brilliantly haunting tale of forgiveness and redemption even in the face of abject failure . . . Depravity and grace meet in a powerful, profound, and lavish banquet for the soul.” – Full Review
  • Linda Hepworth, Nudge-Book Magazine – “[A] story about hope, about love and about the essential decency of people . . . hugely satisfying . . . the literary quality of Keith Rosson’s writing is truly remarkable and, at times, quite breathtakingly beautiful.” – Full Review
  • Kirkus Reviews – “A surreal road novel about misfits on a journey to Southern California … An offbeat, strangely satisfying adventure through a land full of (literal) ghosts.” – Full Review
  • New York Journal of Books – “Keith Rosson has a remarkable talent. He’s created an enjoyable story, an offbeat, occasionally absurd but haunting tale of life, death, heartbreak, and ultimately, redemption—if not in the way expected.” – Full Review
  • Andromeda Spaceways Magazine (4.5 stars) – “Keith Rosson is making a name for himself as a genre-defying author, and this book fits that description. Perhaps magical realism would be the best label for his work. I enjoyed his blend of literary drama and the supernatural, and I’ll be looking out for more of his work.”
  • Indiepicks Magazine – “Rosson creates a fantasy where a very real world of human relationships filled with common concerns such as forgiveness or guilt mixes with fantastic elements in a seemingly matter-of-fact way, similar to the slipstream style of writers such as Kelly Link, Ted Chiang, or Jonathan Lethem. Smoke City is an involving and engrossing blend of fantasy and the everyday, and is highly recommended to anyone looking for the sort of book that allow a reader to get lost within its pages.”
  • Razorcake Magazine – “Rosson is a gifted writer. Throughout Smoke City, he maintains distinct narrative voices, incorporating media reports and journal entries to add heft and credibility to a story that in lesser hands might not pack as much punch, or sound remotely feasible. Beyond the stylistic elements, though, what Rosson does here is create a cast of cantankerous, difficult characters—then he brings readers around to liking them.” – Full Review
  • Dianah Hughley, Bookseller, Powell’s (5 stars) – “Rosson’s talent is staggering, his craft is meticulous, and his story is one of the quirkiest, but most heartfelt I have ever read.” – Full Review
  • NWBookLovers.org – “Study the Executioner” – Full Article
  • Ditrie Marie Bowie (5 stars) – “A gritty urban fantasy read with elements of magical realism.” – Full Review
  • Metaphors & Moonlight (4 stars) – “This was one of those books that called to me as soon as I read the blurb. And fortunately, this book was exactly what I was hoping it would be—strange, quirky, and offbeat, but also touching. The characters had depth and unique voices. The writing was rich.” – Full Review
  • TRL Reviews – “The way in which the different stories come together to form a cohesive and beautifully absurd plot keeps the reader turning page after page. This was by no means a mystery but I found myself in a state of delightful suspense during many parts of the book. ” – Full Review
  • Infinite Typewriters – “This book is mad. And I mean that in the best way. I don’t think I’ve read anything this imaginative or unpredictable in a long time.” – Full Review
  • JD Dehart Reading & Lit Resources – “Smoke City was a super cool read that worked for me in a fashion similar to JG Ballard (whose work I greatly enjoy).  It’s a blend of realism and fantasy that flows off the page quite nicely.” – Full Review
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Endorsements
“Riveting, ambitious, and incredibly well-crafted, Smoke City is unlike anything you’ve ever read or ever will read. Part ghost story, part journey, part apocalyptic thriller, Rosson has created a novel that is gloriously original, and echoes the work of many imaginative writers, from Kurt Vonnegut to Jonathan Lethem.”
– JOE MENO, author of Hairstyles of the Damned
“Smoke City kind of wrecked me, really, but in the best possible way. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt, resonant novel about all those things that mean to be human.”
– CRAIG DAVIDSON, author of Cataract City
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About the Author
Keith Rosson

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels The Mercy of the Tide (2017, Meerkat Press) and Smoke City (2018, Meerkat Press). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. An advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at keithrosson.com.

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Ariadne, I Love You

2021 Releases from Meerkat Press

We are super excited to share our 2021 book schedule! We’ve got such a great lineup ranging from a prose-poetry speculative collection by Eugen Bacon and Dominique Hecq, a literary-leaning speculative fiction collection by Keith Rosson, a dark fantasy novel by J.S. Breukelaar, the next entry in Seb Doubinsky’s addictive City-States Cycle, a dark fantasy/horror novella by J. Ashley-Smith, and the final book in G.D. Penman’s Witch of Empire LGBT urban fantasy series.

We’ll be sharing more on each of these in the months to come and encourage you to check them out and preorder your copy today!


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Folk Songs

★ Publishers Weekly Starred Review for Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons

Publishers Weekly weighs in on Keith Rosson’s debut story collection, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, with a wonderful starred review! The collection releases in February 2021 but is available now for preorder.

With this excellent collection of 15 jagged, fragmented pieces, dark fantasist Rosson subverts expectations and challenges his characters and his readers alike to second-guess their preconceptions. Evil is just as likely to spring from daily life as to lunge out of the supernatural in these disquieting tales.

Publishers weekly (★ review)


Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons

Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons

With Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, award-winning author Keith Rosson delves into notions of family, grief, identity, indebtedness, loss, and hope, with the surefooted merging of literary fiction and magical realism he’s explored in previous novels. In “Dunsmuir,” a newly sober husband buys a hearse to help his wife spread her sister’s ashes, while “The Lesser Horsemen” illustrates what happens when God instructs the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to go on a team-building cruise as a way of boosting their frayed morale. In “Brad Benske and the Hand of Light,” an estranged husband seeks his wife’s whereabouts through a fortuneteller after she absconds with a cult, and in “High Tide,” a grieving man ruminates on his brother’s life as a monster terrorizes their coastal town. With grace, imagination, and a brazen gallows humor, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons merges the fantastic and the everyday, and includes a number of Rosson’s unpublished stories, as well as award-winning favorites.

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Keith Rosson

Aurealis Magazine Reviews ROAD SEVEN by Keith Rosson

Aurealis Magazine reviewed Keith Rosson’s new novel, ROAD SEVEN and we loved what they had to say. Be sure to check out the full review in the magazine!

Keith Rosson brings a magnificence to the literary weird, casting a new lens to crossgenre speculative fiction loaded with crime and sabotage, etched with secrecy and horror.

AUREALIS MAGAZINE, ISSUE #133

Aurealis #133

Why do some people hate fantasy and science fiction with a vengeance while others adore it? Is it simply a ‘pineapple on pizza’ thing? A matter of taste? Or is there something more profound at work? I suspect it comes down to a concept that gets thrown around in all sorts of contexts: the suspension of disbelief.

Road Seven

Road Seven

Road Seven follows disgraced cryptozoologist Mark Sandoval—resolutely arrogant, covered head to foot in precise geometric scarring, and still marginally famous after Hollywood made an Oscar-winner based off his memoir years before—who has been strongly advised by his lawyer to leave the country following a drunken and potentially fatal hit and run. When a woman sends Sandoval grainy footage of what appears to be a unicorn, he quickly hires an assistant and the two head off to the woman's farm in Hvíldarland, a tiny, remote island off the coast of Iceland. When they arrive on the island and discover that both a military base and the surrounding álagablettur, the nearby woods, are teeming with strangeness and secrets, they begin to realize that a supposed unicorn sighting is the least of their worries. Road Seven will mark the third of Rosson’s novels to be published by Meerkat Press.

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