Master of Fine Arts
Date of Defense
A Literary Callithump collects five short-story-length pieces of speculative fiction. All five deal with extremes: humans pushed to the brink and doing what they must to try and survive.
“Ball Drop” shows a United States in need. An otherworldly overseer shows the way out, but the cost is steep.
“A Wolf Hunter” is an adaptation of the story of “Peter and the Wolf,” where an intrepid young man ventures out to hunt a scourge to their community. With the end of the threat, however, Peter discovers his story isn’t quite over.
“Troilus and Cressida: Ulcer of His Heart” takes an historic Shakespeare play and adds a horror twist. After years of waging the Trojan War with no end in sight, a bug bite offers the key to bringing the war to a close.
“The Completely Destructible Woman” follows a graduate student and a touring magical duo whose tricks cross the boundary from illusion to actual magic. When the protagonist learns the secret to their act, it turns his world on its head.
“God Therapy” rounds out the collection. As the title suggests, men and women use the abilities of the gods to grapple with trauma and psychosis.
All five pieces deal with trauma, power struggles, and how to make it in a world that constantly refuses to make sense.
Brennan, Jordan, "A Literary Callithump: A Short Story Collection" (2023). Theses. 446.
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