Renewal – Michael Gardner

John waited for Holly, continually clenching and then unclenching clammy hands. He sat on the edge of the bed, his stomach roiling, his feet tapping the floor incessantly. It never got easier. He always dreaded the confirmation. It was inevitable and yet most of him wanted to delay. Another month, he thought, just one more. I’ll be better prepared then. There was a soft click from the ensuite door, and then it was opening. John…

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A question for Michael Gardner

Q: What’s your favorite non-SFF book?

A: The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. It’s beautifully written, and strange and compelling. Auster puts himself in the stories. Literally. Paul Auster is a character. Another character pretends to be Paul Auster. Yet, these meta-references never detract from the three stories. To me, Auster wants you to be aware that the characters you are reading about are simply reflections of his mind, and yet, despite being conscious of this throughout the book, I was still caught up in the twisting, confusing narratives, the uncertainty between fact and fiction, the ambiguity of the language, and the sense of obsession and loss of identity.

On the off chance someone thinks I’m cheating by calling something as strange as the New York Trilogy a pure, non-SFF book, then my back up would be Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. On the surface, it’s an excellent gangster novel. But dig a bit deeper and you also find these great musings on the juxtaposition between religion and atheism, between good and evil, and right and wrong.


Michael Gardner’s story “Renewal”  was published on Friday, 15 September 2017.
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About Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner is a public servant and economist living in Canberra, Australia with his wife and two kids. He loves urban fantasy and horror – really anything strange or weird. And he has a very patient wife who puts up with his taste in TV shows and movies, and lets him spend more time writing then he probably should.


Michael Gardner’s story “Renewal”  was published on Friday, 15 September 2017.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.