In his confident debut, Greg Bechtel offers ten charged stories about the impossible-turned-possible—secrets, paranoia, sex, conspiracies, and magic—as he effortlessly shatters the boundaries between speculative and literary fiction.
Boundary Problems vibrates on the edge of meaning, as carjackers, accidental gunrunners, and small-town cabbies struggle to wring meaning from the strange events that overtake them. Bechtel’s worlds of mystery and magic constantly challenge his characters’ pursuit of logical explanations. These compelling tales blur lines and push boundaries—into the surreal, into the playful, into the irresistible energy of uncertainty.
Greg Bechtel’s occasionally prize-winning stories have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, On Spec, Qwerty, and the Tesseracts anthologies of speculative fiction. Originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Greg has lived at various times in Toronto, Deep River, Jamaica, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Fredericton while working (among other things) as a lifeguard, technical writer, mover, visual basic programmer, camp counsellor, semiconductor laser labtech, cab driver, tutor, and teacher. Currently, he lives and writes in Edmonton, where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta whenever they let him. Boundary Problems is his first book.
“Each of Greg Bechtel’s stories is a perfect little puzzle-box: one marvels at their perfect geometries while anticipating that dazzling moment where every piece slots flush. These finely-crafted, emotionally resonant tales will stay with me a long, long time.” — Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City
“Here is beauty and strangeness on every page. In these finely written stories, people meet, connect for a moment in time, then vanish like quantum particles. Sometimes, in the best tradition of Philip K. Dick, reality itself seems to be unraveling. But Bechtel is too canny to restrict himself to any genre conventions—these are stories about how we live now, and he’s figured out that we’re all leading science fictional lives.” — Daryl Gregory, author of Pandemonium
“From tarot cards and junk mail and theoretical physics, Greg Bechtel weaves mirror worlds of the complex and precarious lives we live now. This audacious, astonishing debut collection reminds us that in a world stripped of the magical, we can find magic again where it’s always been, waiting for us to remember we need it: in stories.” — Thomas Wharton, author of The Logogryph and Icefields
“Where magic meets physics, Bechtel writes in the dynamic margins of possibility. Boundary Problems is a mind-bending vacation from the ordinary.” — Saleema Nawaz, author of Bone and Bread
“Boundary Problems is a chaotic collection with comic touches, a paranoid Pynchonesque mix-tape of hosers and hipster cafes, office jobs and summer camp confessions, lit theory and online porn. Boundary problems? No problem for Greg Bechtel; his debut is wild, sly, and magnetic.” — Mark Anthony Jarman, author of 19 Knives and My White Planet
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