In these six stories, Chris Howard reasserts his talent for evoking the gritty and the apocalyptic with poetic grace. Intelligent People Speaking Reasonably follows two Iraq vets adrift in the civilian life of the Pacific Northwest. Space is Kindness witnesses the unexpected death of Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan from the perspective of a local reporter and a photographer rushing to the crash-site in 2000. Darkstar takes place in Dublin and follows a young outcast named Sailor through grimy, pre Apocalyptic streets as he tries to find the soulmate he hasn't seen since childhood. Son of Man tells the story of the Manson family from the perspective of one of its members. How to Make Millions in the Oil Market contemplates the absurdity of war from the point of view of a Blackwater contractor first in the chaos of Iraq and later in the relative peace of the US.
The epictitle story Prince of the World follows a mixed-race orphan named Labelle as he wanders north along the Mississippi, ultimately caught in the infamous Starved Rock Massacre in Howard's home-state of Illinois.
CHRISTOPHER HOWARD grew up in Illinois and spent a few months of an aborted Peace Corps sojourn in Mongolia in the late 1990s. His short story, "How to Make Millions in the Oil Market," published in McSweeney's, was nominated for the 2008 National Magazine Award in Fiction. Along with Jodi Picoult, he was one of two authors selected to provide a short story for the launch of Amazon Singles in January 2011.
"In these six pieces that range from the massacre of the Illini to Charles Manson to contemporary Middle East atrocity, Christopher R. Howard begins to fill in the details of the dark ethical border territories he began to map in his debut Tea of Ulaanbaatar. Depicting his apocalypses—both the cosmic and the man-made kind—with a rich blend of sardonic wit and ethical outrage, an unflinching eye for sensory nuance both grotesque and sublime, and a lucid prose that suggests a more cosmopolitan Cormac McCarthy, Howard is probably the greatest literary prophet of doom we have working."—Jeanne Thornton, author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam