Skip to content
Literature & Fiction - Short Stories & Anthologies

$18.00 Regular price
Unit price

Counterfactual Love Stories & Other Experiments

ISBN: 9781934819975
Binding: Paperback
Author: Jackson Bliss
Pages: 200
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 01/01/2021

From fragmented ransom notes to hanging footnotes, contemporary fairy tales to coded text, interconnecting pieces of modal flash fiction to backwards fractal narratives about gradual blindness, transgressive listicles to how-to guides for performative wokeness, variable destinies in downtown Chicago to impossible dating applications, counterfactual relationships to the French translation of adolescence, the conceptual, language-driven short stories in Counterfactual Love Stories & Other Experiments are an exploration of not just mixed-race/hapa identity in Michigan (and the American Midwest), but also of the infinite ways in which stories can be told, challenged, celebrated, and subverted.


Jackson Bliss is the award-winning, mixed-race/Nisei author of COUNTERFACTUAL LOVE STORIES & OTHER EXPERIMENTS (Noemi Press, 2021), AMNESIA OF JUNE BUGS (7.13 Books, 2022), DREAM POP ORIGAMI (Unsolicited Press, 2022), & the newsletter MIXTAPE. Born & raised in Traverse City, Michigan, until the age of fourteen, he spent his adult life in SoCal, the Pacific Northwest, & Chicago with stints in Argentina and Burkina Faso writing both music and non/fiction about his global life. Jackson has a BA in comp lit from Oberlin College, a MFA from the University of Notre Dame where he was the Fiction Fellow & the Sparks Prize winner, a MA in English, & a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from USC where he worked with Aimee Bender, Viet Thanh Nguyen, & TC Boyle. His stories & essays have appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, Ploughshares, Columbia Journal, Guernica, Longreads, Necessary Fiction, Antioch Review, Poets & Writers, TriQuarterly, Fiction, The Offing, Witness, Hypertext, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Vol.1 Brooklyn, ZYZZYVA, Joyland, Santa Monica Review, Juked, Quarterly West, Adroit Journal, The Daily Dot, Pleiades, the 2012-2013 Anthology of APIA Literature, Arts & Letters, Fiction International, Hyphen, Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, LitReactor, Monkey Bicycle, & 3 am Magazine, among others. Jackson lives in LA. You can find him on YouTube & Instagram.


"Read this book for its endless invention, its vibrancy and intelligence, its urgency, its velocity, its enormous heart and troubled soul. Read this book for the aching poignancy of the lists, and all that is invested in that gesture. Read it for the way Jackson Bliss moves through the fleeting, fugitive, baffling world searching for the ballast and the deep consolation only fiction of the highest order attempts to find." - Carole Maso

"Of course the cover color of Jackson Bliss's epochal collection for the anthropocene, Counterfactual Love Stories & Other Experiments, is fetching Coral. This book is made up of storied and honeycombed restless ramparts and multi-chambered reefs of intricate interlocking organic masonry, both delicate and enduring. Don't let the title fool you. These are shifting and shifty fictions, artfully articulated cantilevers levered and buttresses flying. These are walls of sound in the wakes of spectacular wrecks! Here is the geological poetry of ice age glaciers gliding on their own tectonic melting." - Michael Martone

"It's supra-fun to hang out with Jackson Bliss's brain. These stories play and provoke, reminding us that fiction can nudge the world and that the world needs a nudge." - Rebecca Schiff

"A thrilling switchback roller coaster of a collection – by turns magical and absurd, nerdy and punk, soulful and furious. Read it/ride it – you'll have your hands in the air, your heart in your mouth, the wind in your hair!" - Peter Ho Davies

"Energized and energizing, Jackson Bliss's Counterfactual Love Stories posits fusion and confusion as problem and possibility, from race, gender, and wealth inequality to genre, form, and perspective, all with an eye toward exploring how we might make meaning(s) out of our illegible, hyperbolic now. Every sentence is a surprising and sometimes vulnerable, sometimes satiric bite, data-dense as a shockwave ride through some video game committed to showing us what five minutes into our future will look like." - Lance Olsen