Super honored to get a Pushcart Nomination for my short story, “Rodenticide.” It’s about a man named Larry Chao who decides to fight for the right of rats and the character was part of the inspiration for my forthcoming novel, which makes me doubly excited about the choice. The Pushcart Prize is an American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best “poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot” published in the small presses over the previous year (Wiki). Big big thanks to Editor Craig Wallwork for the nomination!
As a brief clip from the story:
“Antarsia, named by its founder who read H.P. Lovecraft and concocted a tale about his ‘visit’ to the Antarctic, had a population of 4,298. Tim Sunders lied his way into millions, raving about lost cities buried under a Triassic layer of flora and lava. He promised troves of treasure if only he could get the funding to go back—and he got it. The only thing that kept him from fleeing with his fortunes was his getting shot stealing twenty penguins from a traveling zoo.
His son, Mark, inherited the money, which had been secretly funneled to him. Mark founded Antarsia as a tribute to his father, who had dreamt of an organic metropolis. Every building was a fractal enslaved, molded into a cacophony of mortar and bricks. Mark Sunders invited all his father’s compatriots to town, half of whom were Asian, a haven for those escaping racial prejudice in the early half of the 20th century. Antarsia became known for its surreal architecture and too many rats. The rat part came about because of a famous entrepreneur, Wang Toufa, who tried to find the cures for baldness and erectile dysfunction, convinced the two were connected. Thousands of rats were shipped in for experimentation. When the scientists failed and the lab was forced to shut down, Toufa freed all the rats. The thousands multiplied into millions and the town became a playground for rodents. Other than curious tourists or travelers who got lost, no one new ever came to town. Except for the new town hooker, Kathy Chao, and a failed film director, Larry Chao.”