Slice and Dice

An Interview with Erik Larson, by Celia Johnson

When Erik Larson researched late nineteenth century Chicago for The Devil in the White City, one of his most useful tools was a magnifying glass. Through its lens he pored over old photographs, picking up details that would enrich his portrait of the city. Those observations became a series of verbal pixels that do more than simply describe; they transport. That kind of focus might be called obsession, a trait that permeates Larson’s life, whether he is perfecting a tennis serve or digging through library archives.


Encounters in Publishing #2: Give Me a Hopeless Manuscript Any Day, by Maria Gagliano

I’ve wanted to be a book editor as far back as high school. I remember a specific conversation over coffee and chicken fingers at the diner with my friend Cheryl. I was telling her I wanted to be an English major when we got to Rutgers, and from there, figure out how to get into book publishing and become an editor.

“That’s cool. What would you do, exactly? Fix punctuation and stuff?” she asked.

“No, I think it’s, like, someone’s job to help people actually write the books,” I said. “I don’t want to get involved in grammar. No way.”


Mai Nardone

We’re launching our weekly podcast, “In the Telling,” with a reading from Mai Nardone. Click here to listen to Mai read an excerpt from “There’s a Hole in the Ocean Floor,” which appears in Issue 12: Obsession.

Mai Nardone, a current MFA candidate at Columbia University’s fiction writing program, was raised in Bangkok, Thailand, by an American father and a Thai mother. His work has also appeared in the Kartika Review.

Series curator Tim Mucci has been published by Slice magazineand has done comic scriptwriting for both Dark Horse Comics and Sterling Publishing’s All-Action Classics series. He knows about UFOs, dragons, the occult and other stuff and is excited to be talking about Clark Ashton Smith on his other podcast The Double Shadow. He lives in Brooklyn with his artist wife and cat (not an artist); you can send him donuts via his twitter account: @timx13.

Music featured in the podcast
Silence by Larmes
Bubba’s Blues by My Bubba & Mi
The Flowing of the Time by Stefano Mocini
Header illustration by Andrea Sparacio (

Author photo by Denise Hofmann


Encounters in Publishing #1: So You Want to be a Journalist, by Liz Mathews

After six years of working in publishing, and four years before that of securing an English degree, it seems obvious that taking a chemistry class makes the most sense for my life’s path. Ions and stoichiometry are the next logical step after mastering en-dashes and track changes, am I right?

It is because of this totally normal and expected transition to science that I managed to destroy my nineteen year old lab partner’s dream of becoming a journalist.


Encounters in a Bookstore #639: Have You Seen a Drunk Lady? by Liz Mathews

On occasion at the bookstore where I work, finding people who have gone missing in the store is a task that gets dispatched through the first floor information desk. For some unexplained reason, I have been posted at said info desk for a great many shifts over the past few months, and have, on occasion, had to make overheard announcements to call awareness to the missing person and the concerned party. Normally both are within the store’s walls when this happens.


Encounters in a Bookstore #636: On the Wonders of Not Being Management by Liz Mathews

Perhaps in some jobs, having a manager title is a respected and wonderful thing, implying both a larger paycheck and passing off tedious job responsibilities to the peons below. Not so at the bookstore where I work. Yes, peons still do a lot of things like shelving and answering phones. But managers are the ones that get to deal with all the real customer nonsense, and they likely don’t make that much more than I in their weekly paychecks.