If you subscribe to The Walrus, or saunter into a shop to buy it May 14th, you’ll notice that they’ve got a story in there this month called Montana Border. Turns out I wrote that story.
It is the penultimate story in my short fiction collection Debris, out this September with Biblioasis (and early new year 2016 in the States). The excellent fiction editor of The Walrus, Nick Mount, read a few stories of mine over the last while, and this was the one that really got his goat. At the time I was fairly surprised by that. But, as months go by and I’ve gone through various readings and edits of it, I do think it is one of the best stories I’ve written overall.
This story came about after I sent John Metcalf (Biblioasis’ fiction editor and champion) the latest draft of my second unpublished novel, now called In the Cage. He took it on to edit and publish later, but, in the meantime, he suggested that I mine some territory covered in the novel a little more as he found it quite interesting. The stuff of that novel, with its cagefighting and crime and chaos, always struck me as something that might not interest many readers as much as it interests me. But John thought it was worth exploring, and apparently Mr. Mount found it worthwhile enough to put it on shelves at your grocery store.
I am incredibly grateful to Nick Mount for his work on this story, as well as the other editors in-house, for bearing with me as I denied all commas and proper use of the English language during editing. I feel like I’ve already broke these sentences exactly the right amount and there’s really no going back. Nonetheless, I enjoyed going through the factchecking process and learning that Walrus staff sat there at their office computers watching regulated and unregulated MMA fights for research. If nothing else, at least this story accomplished that much…
All of this is something I’m very proud to be a part of, as I know what it takes to get into the pages of The Walrus. Luck not the least of these things. I’m looking forward to hearing back from readers about this story, and maybe seeing someone just standing there shaking their head at the news stand while I buy meat and coke zero. If you manage to get your hands on this one, I’d be interested to hear all the ways you either like or are baffled by Montana Border, and it being published in such a fancy place.
More story news to come soon. Keep your hats on.