Gnashing Teeth Publishing

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Short Stories Without Provocation

blue and green art of aliens in spaceships and holding phaser guns in a cartoon style

A collection of quaint and quirky speculative fictions, Y.M. Valentonis’ Short Stories Without Provocation are experimental narratives from the beginnings of history to today’s coffe blog post. These cozy-horror, bizarro-folklore, and slipstream tales have a Southern Acid Gothic flare. The eight sections are thematic patchwork story composites expanding upon each other. 

Like all folktales, motifs and themes recur: cooking, music, and work. Once the reader gets used to the surrealistic world, they are brought back to reality by a child coming to understand divorce, a woman realizing her abusive work relation, or the final confrontation with a childhood bully.

According to the most hated PreSocratic Philosopher, the world is amusing Surrealistic chaos. In this shared world, the monsters are your secret admirers and follow you to work. Genres and narratives are reenvisioned like a recipe cookbook that addresses overwhelming Existential dread.

Ancient heroes have to survive nefarious beasts and the challenges of becoming a member of Baba Yaga’s family. Among the dark tales, occasionally superheroes emerge to combat fear. The private detective who works in Hell continues to investigate the nature of questioning itself. People live inside punctuation, contructing sentences to meet each other. The Pacific Trash Patch has declared itself a sovereign nation encouraging all garabage to revolt. And somehow people still have survive weeds and trash when they go shopping during the apocalypse. James Joyce’s sprirtual essence writes a coffee blog with the right soundtrack.

This assemblage of prose is a journey to the Fey-realms through the apocalypse.

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Yrik-Max Valentonis has original ideas and an original approach that combine to create a memorable cross-genre collection.

Surrealistic mental nut-punches, with a heaping dash of bizarro strong-arming magical realism into crying "uncle." Dipping into this collection is a mental melange that is best enjoyed by just sitting back and letting it happen (in the best way possible). Tasty snacks and teasing tidbits that soon have you wondering how you got here, and leave you wanting more. Buckle up, buttercup--it's a bumpy ride. And those are the best kind.

In Short Stories Without Provocation, Max Yrik Valentonis serves up a delightfully wide assortment of short tales inserting magic and fantastical creatures into historical, biblical and everyday settings. These delightful mini-fables deftly point us to the intersection of where the Fey connects with our world and beyond.

Meet the Author

Yrik-Max Valentonis’s books Cranium Theatre and 120 Days of Gomorrah are available from Alien Buddha Press. His comics and writings have appeared in the chapbooks:  iDEAL and this is visual poetry; the anthologies: Alien Buddha’s Block Party, Alien Buddha’s House of Horrors 3, Animal Blessings, Divided Again, Heat the Grease We’re Frying Up Some Poetry, Sinbad and the Winds of Destiny, and Zombie Nation: St. Pete. He earned a BA in English and American Literature from the University of South Florida and a MFA in Poetry & Prose from Naropa University.

Yrik-Max Valentonis wanders through the urban landscape seeking out fairy circles. He makes puppets so other people can see his imaginary friends. He steals apples to justify his philosophy. He is Baba Yaga’s favorite grandson. A friend of the Fey. A journeyer to the Realms. A teller of tales. A collector of Gargoyles.

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