Aleya’s world starts to unravel after a café customer leaves behind a collection of short stories. Surprised and disturbed to discover that it has been dedicated to her, Aleya delves into the strange book…
A mad scientist seeks to steal his son’s dreams. A struggling writer, skilled only at destruction, finds himself courted by Hollywood. A woman seeks to escape her body and live inside her dreams. Citizens panic when a new city block manifests out of nowhere. The personification of capitalism strives to impress his cutthroat boss.
The more Aleya reads, the deeper she sinks into the mysterious writer’s work, and the less real the world around her seems. Soon, she’s overwhelmed as a new, more terrifying existence takes hold.
Jonathan Ball’s first collection of short fiction blends humour and horror, doom, and daylight, offering myriad possible storms.
Praise for The Lightning of Possible Storms:
“This collection is so beautifully written and expertly composed—it is rich, layered, and complex. In every story, characters are forced to confront their secret, subterranean selves, their suppressed longings and anxieties, and the stories will linger with you long after you’ve finished them, much like the last strains of a beloved song. Witty, sad, sardonic, each story is its own masterpiece. This collection confirms Jonathan Ball as one of Canada’s very best writers.” —Suzette Mayr, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sleeping Car Porter
“Cheerfully horrifying, and full of the unexpected, The Lightning of Possible Storms is an entertaining Borgesian foray into the existential dread of writing itself.” —Saleema Nawaz, author of Songs for the End of the World
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Horror, humour, and a generous helping of surrealism are on the menu in a new collection of short stories by Winnipeg poet Jonathan Ball. —Winnipeg Free Press
“The Lightning of Possible Storms is an impressive clockwork construction of narrative cogs and gears that never loses sight of either its humanity or its nature as a manufactured work of art.” —Robert Wiersema, Quill and Quire
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Character Study: The Lightning of Possible Storms —All Lit Up
“The Lightning of Possible Storms is a genuinely bracing and exciting experience, profoundly unsettling and disorienting. Anyone who enjoys having their ass kicked by a book of fiction will not be disappointed.” —Ian Colford, The Miramichi Reader
Where It All Happened: A List of Propulsive Settings —49th Shelf
“Ball’s interwoven stories create an immersive yet dizzying experience.” —Jana Gregorio, Broken Pencil Magazine
“All of these explorations of writing and art are surreal and fragmented, yet woven together masterfully. Each story is a collection of threads that seems meaningless until you begin to see how they connect, how the ideas and concepts come together to form a cohesive tapestry that is far greater than the sum of its parts.” —Will Fawley, Prairie Fire
Jonathan Ball is the author of eight books, including Ex Machina, Clockfire, and The National Gallery. He lives in Winnipeg and has won many awards, including a Manitoba Book Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. He hosts Writing the Wrong Way, the podcast for writers who strive to be bold and readers who crave something new.