The 2019 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction winner, Bosses of Light and Sound, is officially available for pre-publication purchase.

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Willow Springs Books is proud to announce the release of Bosses of Light and Sound, the winner of the 2019 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. In this collection, two movie-theater projectionists become addicted to “fixing” blockbuster films, an aged woman claims squatter’s rights at a Congo-themed mini-golf park, and an eleven-toed breakfast food designer tries to save a doomed relationship. Nickalus Rupert’s stories unearth humor and tenderness within the most trying aspects of being human. Bosses of Light and Sound will make you uncomfortable in the best of ways as characters struggle to negotiate circumstances that range from ridiculous, to excruciating, to improbably sublime.

Praise for Bosses of Light and Sound

“Nickalus Rupert has his finger on the pulse of American absurdity, and the characters in these stories are both hilarious and heartbreaking proof. Whether remorseful for past misdeeds, pursuing off-kilter quests, or just hoping to be able to stand themselves long enough to get through another day, this is fiction that insists on beauty in all this mess too—and how very ordinary and grand that can be.”

—Anne Sanow, author of Triple Time

“Nickalus Rupert is out of his mind. And for that, we should be grateful. Here are stories born of no inhibitions and no holds barred. Stories that howl. Stories that glow in the dark. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and, yes, dear reader, you’ll laugh again.”

—David James Poissant, author of Lake Life

“Keep your eye on Nickalus Rupert and his fiery talent. His writing is iconoclastic, dark, witty, hilarious. The characters in Bosses of Light and Sound bump up against each other in the darkness of their melancholy, loneliness, and regrets—their yearning for connection only slightly outpacing their desire for oblivion.”

—Mary Pauline Lowry, author of The Roxy Letters

“Nick Rupert’s debut story collection will knock you on your butt and keep you there till you’ve turned the last page. I was sad to finish it, not wanting to come back to my own less-compelling world just yet, but I was grateful for the journey it sent me on, and I’m thrilled at the arrival of this terrific new writer.”

— Andrew Malan Milward, author of I Was a Revolutionary