The Speed Chronicles (Akashic Drug Chronicles) (Paperback)

By Joseph Mattson (Editor)

Akashic Books, 9781617750281, 226pp.

Publication Date: November 29, 2011

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Akashic launches a new series of crime anthologies, each focused on a different controlled substance, with this addictive volume."
--Publishers Weekly

"All told, The Speed Chronicles deserves great praise for the audacity of the topic, the depth of the discussion, the diversity of its voices, and plain, old, good storytelling."
--New York Journal of Books

"The Speed Chronicles represents a surprising range of experiences. The promise of the collection is that it will neither vilify nor romanticize its subject matter."
--Portland Mercury

"The contributors to The Speed Chronicles amply demonstrate the paradox of life under the influence of chemically induced acceleration. At the best moments, the use of stimulants can celebrate the beauty and intensity of human experience. As some of these stories reveal, despite the mainstream cultural narrative of 'tweakers' as amoral zombies, the persistent will to live in the face of adversity and affliction is a hallmark of many addicts' lives."
--The Rumpus

"In Speed, Joseph Mattson has assembled an impressive, surprisingly diverse group of authors presenting their equally diverse impressions of a drug that the editor describes in his poetic, but hard-hitting introduction thusly . . .

Brand-new stories by: Sherman Alexie, William T. Vollmann, James Franco, Megan Abbott, Jerry Stahl, Beth Lisick, Jess Walter, Scott Phillips, James Greer, Tao Lin, Joseph Mattson, Natalie Diaz, Kenji Jasper, and Rose Bunch.

The subject of speed is so innately intimidating yet so undeniably present that it begs to be written about. It is no secret that the drug has historically tuned up the lives of writers, including Jack Kerouac, Susan Sontag, Philip K. Dick, and scores more. Too rarely, though, has it been written about, and its jolt to the bones of the American landscape continues to peak. Akashic Books dares to bring forth the first contemporary collection of all new literary short fiction on the drug from an array of today's most compelling and respected authors. These are no stereotypical tales of tweakers--the element of crime and the bleary-eyed, shaky zombies at dawn are here right alongside heart-wrenching narratives of everyday people, good intentions gone terribly awry, the skewed American Dream going up in flames, and even some accounts of pure joy.

About the Author

Joseph Mattson is the author of the story collection Eat Hell (Narrow Books) and the novel Empty the Sun (A Barnacle Book), which comes with a soundtrack by Drag City recording artist Six Organs of Admittance and was a finalist for the 2010 SCIBA Fiction Award. He is the literary editor of Two Letters: Collection of Art & Writing, Volume Two (Narrow Books), and his novel Courting the Jaguar will be published by Barnacle in 2011. Mattson has also been shortlisted for DZANC's 20 Writers to Watch list, an alternative to the New Yorker's 20 under 40 list. He lives in Los Angeles.