The Painting and the City

New Paperback Edition Coming in July

This has been in process for a long time, but I can finally announce that The Visible Spectrum, a new imprint of Verse Chorus Press, is publishing the first U.S. and first paperback edition of my novel, The Painting and the City, set for a July 20, 2021 release. The book came out from PS Publishing in 2009, in two editions, a 100 copy slipcased hardback signed by myself and the introducer (Jeffrey Ford) and a 350 copy regular hardback signed by me. These were expensive and available in few stores.

I’m excited to have this new paperback (and ebook) coming out. I’ll post more as it gets closer to the release date.

In addition, my new short story collection (announced here or scroll down) should be coming out in September 2021.

“An unusual, haunting tale from a distinctive new voice.”—Lisa Tuttle, Sunday Times (London)

New Book

Cover art by Chris Roberts for
Tom Reamy’s Blind Voices.

I’m pretty thrilled to announce that I have a contract from PS Publishing for a short story collection. The title is Undiscovered Territories, publication tentatively late 2020. The collection will have over 98,000 words of my short fiction, including the novella, In Springdale Town, which came out in book form from PS in 2003.

Chris Roberts will be creating cover art and possibly some interior illustrations for part title pages.

Here’s a blurb from Steve Rasnic Tem (a shortened version will appear on the back cover):

“Writers who work in fantasy and science fiction often feel the need to adjust their raw imaginings to the expectations of genre. My experience of Robert Freeman Wexler’s work in Undiscovered Territories is that he has largely been able to avoid that compromise, creating emotionally and stylistically complex literary fairy tales which do not fit within the standard genres. Neither are they “realistic” in the conventional sense. In Wexler’s fiction bread sings and narrates its autobiography, a four-armed giant slips and tells a story while lying flat in the snow, and a vision of a rain forest appears on the wall of an urban building. As far-fetched as these metaphors may seem, they achieve an unexpected realism through Wexler’s manipulation of fragmented texts (an art history, a series of government proclamations, etc.) and a style which mimics such familiar modes as the adventure story and the travel journal. The result is at times reminiscent of a Jonathan Swift or a Jorge Luis Borges, and in all ways, fantastic. “

—Steve Rasnic Tem, author of Figures Unseen: Selected Stories and The Night Doctor And Other Tales

Flowers, Spring

When the magnolia starts to bloom, snow falls in quantities thick enough to freeze the blossoms and buds.

When the magnolia starts to bloom, if there is no snow, rain falls in quantities heavy enough to crush the blossoms and buds.

This year, the rain came early and the buds laughed.

The magnolia bloomed.

Helen Marshall Quote

Read this interesting bit in an interview with Helen Marshall:

One of the odd things I’ve found as a writer of the fantastic is that the longer the story, the more the story is forced into realism, even if it has an absurd or fantastic core. Long fiction is about tracing a series of consequences, and so it must be tied together by a believable reality. Short fiction…not so much. It doesn’t have to be sequential. It doesn’t have to be consequential. You can get away with so much more, and that makes it particularly good for horror stories. Horror, to me, is about confronting the fact that we live in a world that doesn’t actually make much sense.

Perhaps the reading brain can only handle total unreality in smaller doses.

I’m considering her statement in relation to an unpublished long story of mine called “Mountain.” I think that in the case of my story, what I was doing required a certain amount of realism and length, though it’s set in an unreal environment, and it ends in unreality. I have lately tended to write longer, but am drawn to the type of story she describes.

Read the whole interview here. Here website is here. Here books are published by the wonderful ChiZine Publications.

Julian Cope Has a Novel

“I demand of the reader to the point where they don’t know what’s real and what’s not real.”

Interesting article/interview in The Quietus with Julian Cope (otherwise known as the Arch Drude). Seems he’s written a novel, titled (and subtitled) 131—A Time-Shifting Gnostic Hooligan Road Novel.

Cope and interviewer amongst the standing stones of Avebury

From the publisher’s web page: “When drugged-up Time Traveller and ’80s musical burnout Rock Section and his fellow English hooligans get kidnapped during Italia ’90, there are ruinous implications. But now Rock has returned to Sardinia one final time to settle some scores and uncover the truth. He believes only Dutch cult leader Judge Barry Hertzog, still incarcerated on the island for the crime, can provide the answers. But through prescription drugs, the persistence of his driver Anna and a quest for the hidden ancient doorways strewn around Sardinia’s only highway, the 131, Rock will discover that a greater truth awaits him.”

Cope is someone who’s music I find always interesting, and I would think his fiction will be too.