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Time travel, Shahrazad, the kiss of death. The Keeper of Dreams: A Dozen Stories and Poems, are stories of philosophical speculation, a literary fusion of realism and surrealism, much in the vein of Spielburg’s television series “Amazing Stories” and Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading. The title story is about a high school failure who slips into a coma and passes through an unfamiliar town as a ghost, albeit with the powers of Death. He must perform Death’s services under the direction of another unnamed spirit, even when he is most unprepared to do so. “The Sentence” follows the disintegration of two women who are shackled onto the ruddy soil of the Nevada desert. Who are they, and what is their crime? Is justice possible when the human body – with blood and blisters and shit – must be rent of its life? Spanning subjects such as crumbling musicians and a distant, self-indulgent future, this collection of new and previously published pieces are snapshots of life brought to the precipice.

The second volume of The Keeper of Dreams explores the questions of morality refracted through the prisms of dreams, the unlikely, and the surreal. “A House Burning” opens up on a crowd of the disaffected watching the ashes of their home smolder. As they turn away, one-by-one, they find their lives torn asunder – and brought into new meaning. “Time Stops For” follows a stone man-child stuck in a metaphysical and metaphorical timewarp. Inspired by classic Russian surrealism (Nabokob, Bulgakov) and modern sci-fi and absurdism (Douglas Adams, a Kafkaesque Ray Bradbury) these stories and poems ruminate upon the moral decisions made at the human limit, and beyond.