Anthology of Short Narratives
Fiction and Non-Fiction
Roy Lisker

The Drugstore html) ; (pdf)
A surreal adventure on the edge of Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square

Logan Airport (html) ; (pdf)
The arrival and departure of airliners at Boston's Logan Airport serves as a metaphor for a non-linear narrative traversing the globe

Amplitude of the Cosmos (html) ; (pdf)
Musicians and love triangles at the Marlboro Music Festival

The Curdled Land (pdf)
A One-Chapter Novel of the Third World.

Tale of the Guru (html) ; (pdf)
An appreciative parody of Kipling's "Jungle Book" and "Just So Stories"

  • Legends and Fables:
  • Persephone, A Tone Poem

    Version of August,2014:

    Persephone August 2014(pdf)

    Embroidery upon a Creation Myth

    Primavera (html) ; (pdf)
    "In the woodland forest, tapestried with green, canopied with rustling leaves, yellow with the peeping toadstool, gay with coves and grassy meadows, dark with somber witching places" .....

    The Woman in the Forest
    A pantheistic legend of despair, abandonment, death and rejuvenation

    The Governments of Chelm
    Mismanaging the Shtedl

    Three Weddings (docx); (doc); (pdf)An excursion into surrealism.

    A Child is Born
    Moses, Christ, Marx and Einstein decide the fate of mankind

    The Gift of Tongues
    Clergymen and advertising agents debate christmas, liquor revenues and eloquence

  • Tales of Music and Musicians:
  • Rocking The Lyric Cradle (pdf)
    A 12th century troubadour returns to 20th century France

    Willy van Fritz (html) ; (pdf)
    A clash of colossal egos at a cocktail party

    Lincoln Center in July(html);(doc);(pdf)
    A New York City street musician succumbs to public indifference and temperatures in the 100's

    Monaco, 1986 (html)
    Street music before the fabled Monaco Casino

    Sam (doc)
    The most recent version (December 22, 2013) of the legendary Christmas fable "Sam The Messiah Man".A gifted classical musician tries to beat the system, only to discover that, when it comes to the music business it's impossible to win.

    Joy to the World
    A street musician in San Francisco's Union Square at the Christmas season

  • Anti-Science Fiction:
  • Sea Urchins
    A fable of the Marine Biological Laboratory, circa 1956

    The Delusion of I.Y. Snew

    Report on the GRG11 Conference (html)

  • Naturalism:
  • Dispatches from the Fringes:
    An Anthology of the Wandering Life

    Dispatches (docx)
    Dispatches (doc)
    Dispatches (pdf)
    Dispatches (htm)

    Tales of Greater Cambridge

    (1.) The girls at the Waldorf cafeteria
    Cambridge, MA in the 60's

    (2.) A grim encounter in Somerville, May 1980
    The Delusion of Juan Rodriguez (docx)

    (3.) Tales of the drug scene, Harvard Square, 1964
    Depravity (pdf)
    Noon Incident and Aftermath(pdf)

    (4.)The CETA Job Factory,Central Square, 1981


    Parisian Sketches(html)

  • Magical Realism:

    Quest of the Absolute(html); (pdf)

    Ludis Mentalis(pdf)

  • Parody:

  • I've long debated the wisdom of placing my better efforts in the short narrative, fiction and non-fiction, onto the Ferment Magazine website. Like most serious writers my loyalties are divided: on the one hand there is the wish to make my work available to as many people as possible. On the other there is the normal desire for success, that is to say, public recognition and a decent income.I always seem to err when I wish for something normal

    YET!:Owing to the Internet miracle, the first ambition has been achieved! As of today (April 11, 2008) Ferment Magazine averages 40,000 hits per month (almost half a million per year) from over 60 countries, including places like the island of Nuie and the Ivory Coast. Many of these come from the sect of Alexandre Grothendieck enthusiasts, yet every file and folder of the magazine is visited. The fatalism that characterized me just a decade ago, driven by the assumption that I might never find a publisher for work dating back as much as half a century, has been superseded by the euphoria of knowing that my writings are being read by thousands of persons around the world.

    The economic return continues to be negligible.My seemingly cavalier attitude towards the whole matter gives the wrong impression. In fact the lack of anything approximating a real income from my creative work is a source of genuine emotional distress.Role models such as Schubert, van Gogh and Emily Dickinson hardly improve my disposition, particularly when I watch the credits at the end of a good film, and see the hundreds of names of persons who are investing their creative talents in exchange for both income and recognition.

    With regard to these short narratives I recognize that this is not an age propitious (As in "Thou with fresh hope the Lovers heart dost fill, While the jolly hours lead on propitious May") for the short story writer.Along with most other people,I absorb short fiction primarily through DVD's. As it is I read more short stories, poetry and playscripts than most of the literate population. When it comes to print format it's primarily drawn to novels and newspapers.

    The decision was made over the summer of 2003 to place all my short stories and narratives on Ferment Magazine. The texts are .html or .pdf accessible, in plain fonts without formatting. Persons interested in obtaining carefully prepared, attractive, well-edited versions of these stories can find them listed in the Ferment Magazine Catalog

    There have been seperate (sic! The word 'seperate' is misspelt in standard English) decisions made on each of the novels. An early novel "Chronicles of Nin", was initially uploaded on Ferment Magazine and then withdrawn. A few years later I uploaded "The Eiffel Tower Gang". In a short time it rose quickly to the top of the monthly statistics and has stayed there.

    After rewriting, revision and editing,"Harvest of Chains", a novel about Ireland in the 70's, was uploaded in 2007. I am currently debating the option of putting my best novel "Getting That Meal Ticket" on Ferment Magazine. How to go about finding a publisher in America is a skill I have not developed, though I was more adept at it in France in the 60's and 70's. Numerous self-publishing options are available nowadays. They wouldn't pay the bills, and it is highly unlikely that, if distributed in bookstores, any novel published in this fashion could reach an audience of 40,000 a month! I continue to encourage all readers of these stories and novels to contact me with referrals to reputable tradebook agents.

    The following novels have been revised and edited to the point at which they can be presented to prospective publishers:

    1. Getting That Meal Ticket. A scathing satire on American university education.Originally published in French under the title "Je Suis Trop Intelligente, Moi!" (Editions Renè Julliard, 1972) it was serialized (in English) in Ferment Volume XVI, 2002-2003.

    2. The Eiffel Tower Gang. Inspecteur Guy de Migraine of the DST (The French F.B.I.) , seeks to destroy a ruthless gang of smugglers of contraband Eiffel Tower souvenirs. In the course of doing so, the reader is given a comprehensive, often hilarious, undeniably unique vision of Paris.

    3. Harvest of Chains. A more traditional novel, set in the world of painters and sculptors in Dublin, Ireland, circa 1970.

    4. The Chronicles of Nin. Science fiction. The rise and fall of 2000-year empire founded on social classes determined by scales of longevity between 40 to 600 years.

    5. Hysteria and Enlightenment. Music and Medicine in 18th century Vienna: Mesmer, Marie-Therese von Paradis, Mozart Joseph II, and a glamorous cast of minor characters, 1770-1780.

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