At Bay: Short Fiction from San Francisco and Other Wilderness Areas

At Bay: Short Fiction from San Francisco and Other Wilderness Areas invites the reader into a close-up street level exploration of the urban canyons and moral architectures of the world’s most beautiful and astonishing city, and the hustling, lusting, dreaming and aspiring denizens who pursue a life upon, alongside or high above its colorful, crowded streets. By turns ironic, hilarious and moving, At Bay evokes a sense of place and immediacy as characters love, cheat, mislead, serve and seduce one another in the chaotic, liberating and baffling paradox that is San Francisco.  Patton’s gritty, compelling, often poetic and sometimes shocking tales follow the fortunes of a money-crazed antiques dealer, a pretend air marshal and fast-talking auctioneer, a sex-addicted self-help lecturer, an ambivalent future murder victim, a self-described “urban lizard” process server, and the world’s greatest subsistence soul singer and blues guitarist. Also, included in the collection are two mid-continental stories of an abducted 13-year-old Chickasaw girl (1,000-word flash fiction), and gun-play on a Texas highway followed by stunningly swift and merciless, if somewhat misaligned, reprisal.

 

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