Some really lovely blurbs (from some
pretty fantastic writers)...
"Christine Rice's novel-in-stories Swarm Theory is like a mosaic handmade from slivers of broken bottles, bits of razorblades, and shards from funhouse mirrors; it is beautiful and startling, shining and dark. The residents of New Canaan, Michigan–a fictional suburb stuck somewhere between Flint and Detroit, between dream and despair–live their damaged lives as best they can. In captivating, skillful prose that is thick with all kinds of knowledge and with realism and magic, Rice creates a place both unique and familiar. New Canaan is a microcosm of our nation's industry and failures. But despite the hard times of this small Midwestern town, of this particular era of our last century, Rice's characters are mostly resilient. In these stories that braid and twist, that buzz and sing, New Canaan's inhabitants struggle, and sometimes–remarkably, gloriously–they survive."
– Patricia Ann McNair, author of The Temple of Air
“With joyful, violent beauty, Christine Rice’s Swarm Theory will seduce you from the first sentence, the first startling image, and by the last, you’ll be grateful to have read every inspired word (and fiercely impressed by Rice's talent). These are stories to be cherished, shared, and discussed, and read over and over.”
– Christine Sneed, author of Paris, He Said and Little Known Facts
"Christine Rice's Swarm Theory casts a brilliant light on the loneliness and loves of New Canaan, Michigan, a town she's thoroughly imagined and rebuilt in this inspired novel-in-stories. With the greatest empathy and insight, Rice has created a cast of memorable characters – visionaries, losers, rebels, and thieves – their lives both mythic and mundane. In the tradition of Carson McCullers and Sherwood Anderson, Rice has given us the small town as universe.”
– René Steinke, author of Friendswood, Holy Skirts, and The Fires
"I was absolutely enthralled. Christine Rice's masterful use of the novel-in-story form dropped me straight into the hearts of her characters and, like the most perfect puzzle, wove their lives and longings together into a total page turner. I found myself talking out loud ("No, Astrid, don't!" and "Caroline, get out of there!"). I hoped for them, shared their devastation. As a reader, I was in it. And as a writer, I'll go back again and again, trying to figure out how the hell Rice just did that."
– Megan Stielstra, author of Once I Was Cool
SWARM THEORY is set in the fictional town of New Canaan, based on my hometown just outside of Flint, Michigan.
Find the buzz about Swarm Theory (University of Hell Press, April 2016) HERE.
Here's Swarm Theory's front cover copy...
It was a time of hippies, heroin, and All in the Family. It was a time, in the small town of New Canaan, Michigan, when developers gobbled up farmland and spit out suburbs.
Against this backdrop, Swarm Theory’s interlocking narratives reveal the troubled lives of Astrid (a young woman trying to hold her family together), Caroline (Astrid’s best friend who has lost her mother to heroin), Will (a Marine struggling to make sense of life after being discharged from the Marines), and Father Maurice Silver (a priest caring for a young man dying of AIDS).
Swarm Theory reveals life’s amazing contradictions—the wonderful and the profane, devotion and infidelity, understanding and revenge—through stories told from different perspectives. Swarm Theory investigates what happens when people come together—whether to do admirable or horrific things. Here, intimates and strangers alike can’t help but be intertwined; their unpredictable journeys providing a backdrop for characters complex, honorable, and not.
Swarm Theory reveals our often misguided, dark, and life-sustaining dependency on each other.
Stories from Swarm Theory have been published in Roanoke College's Roanoke Review, American University of Beirut’s Rusted Radishes, Farleigh Dickinson University’s The Literary Review, and online at Chicago Literati and Bird’s Thumb.
Other writing has appeared in The Millions, The Big Smoke, Chicago Tribune, Detroit’s Metro Times and Metro Parent, The Good Men Project, The Urbaness.com, CellStories.net, F Magazine and my radio essays have been produced by WBEZ Chicago. And since I read a lot of books, you can find my author interviews at Hypertext Magazine.
Hypertext Magazine opened its virtual doors in 2010. Our editors live all over the United States – from Chicago to Boston to Los Angeles (even Dallas, Texas…which is, technically, still part of the United States. Right, CLW?). We think of ourselves as small but scrappy as hell (but we think a lot of things that may or may not be true). Most of our editors cut their fictional teeth in the Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department, nurtured by dedicated professors and an innovative teaching approach – an approach that celebrates diverse voices and caters to alternative learning styles – developed by John Schultz (Story Workshop Method).
We’ve published writers from all over the globe and we’re currently looking for writing that presents the world in new and startling ways. We want to see writers take chances, push forms. In fiction and essays, we’re looking for stories with a whole lot of life pumping through them, stories from and about all ages and types of people, stories that change the way we view the world. We’re looking for carefully crafted writing that amazes and inspires.
In addition to fiction, essays, and interviews, Hypertext is looking for serial fiction, graphic novels, and editorial cartoons. If you have ideas for any of these forms, just email us and your idea will be considered.
At HYPERTEXT Studio, we realize that the art of writing is a marathon not a sprint. Writing means rewriting, reworking, being open to trying new forms and, perhaps, even switching a story's point of view. That's why we use a wide variety of teaching methods to get your story on the page.
One of these approaches is The Story Workshop® Approach to the Teaching of Writing. The Story Workshop® Approach is a teaching methodology designed to closely resemble the complex processes of many successful writers.
This method stresses the principle of attention, seeing-in-the-mind, and oral telling to facilitate the writer's discovery of what they want to tell and how to tell it. The approach works from the stance that everyone has a story to tell and their own unique language(s) at their disposal to tell that story. The approach puts a lot of faith in the writer's experience as a human being; collecting life experiences, vivid language, images and ideas. The ideal workshop brings in a wide range of voices and content into the semi-circle, giving permission and challenging students to bring the wealth of their experiences, and as Junot Diaz says, their "many tongues" into their writing.
Not all courses use the Story Workshop® Approach to the Teaching of Writing. For example, specialty classes (like Science Fiction Writing: Through the Lens of Tomorrow) do not use the Story Workshop® Approach but all of our teachers are experienced writers who have long used their teaching experience and wisdom to help people like you get their words and vision on the page.
Here's a video about Hypertext Studio's collaboration with the City of Chicago's Young Authors Playlist.