“The Stare”

Gabriel Smith

A friend, a physicist and schizophrenic, told me recently about how she knows a break is coming.  “How I see the world completely changes,” she said. “It’s called ‘The Stare.’ Everything takes on a total hyperreality. Like reality is only what it is, and nothing else. It’s the scariest part. More scary than the break. Because you feel you’re seeing the true nature of things for the first time. And...

“Here Comes the Break” | On Literary Fiction Today

Gabriel Smith

As we were preparing to launch this magazine, we told our first cohort of writers not to pitch us anything about contemporary fiction. We were bored by it, we said — mostly but not entirely tongue-in-cheek.  This issue, we’re making an exception. It seems to us that the literary ground has shifted, and the forms and themes considered most exciting just a few years ago are now all but exhausted....

The Complete | Fiction

Gabriel Smith

It was the no-summer summer. Nobody had to work so we ate and drank in the streets. We shared stories and videos of mob violence, food shortages, burning buildings, black men beaten or shot to death. The climate changed in faraway places. The Americans ended the endless war. A sleepwalking woman attempted her former commute and stepped in front of a high-speed train. At the Empty Olympics in Tokyo, athletes...

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