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Kyle Thiessen reads at Line Break #11 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
“Morty and Dolores are the names of the ghosts haunting the house in which we are hiding from zombies. We don’t know the names of the zombies. We have a complicated relationship with Morty and Dolores because they hate zombies just like we do, but they’re also trying to scare the shit out of us.”

With those words way back at Line Break #11, the redoubtable Kyle Thiessen introduced us to bickering ghosts Morty and Dolores, victims of a most hilarious zombie apocalypse. By the end of the next twelve minutes we were all ghosts, having died of laughter.

Now, for Halloween, we're pleased to announce that "Morty and Dolores" has been published by our friends over at The Piltdown Review. Now you read can read it and die too!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Line Break! And big congratulations to Kyle Thiessen. Please read responsibly, and we'll hope to see you at Line Break #24 on Sunday, November 4th.

Morty and Dolores:

"Morty and Dolores" by Kyle Thiessen at The Piltdown Review


Hey, Line Break fans! If you were at our show on October 6th, you heard powerful excerpts from David Lawson's new one-man show, Nazis and Me. And even if you weren't there, you won't want to miss this thought-provoking performance about run-ins with hate set in a time where hateful Americans feel a strong sense of comfort: right now.

Nazis and Me debuts tonight at Under St. Marks in Manhattan's East Village, with subsequent performances October 16th, November 6th, and November 13th. Grab your tickets now! It's almost as satisfying as punching a Nazi.

Nazis and Me
Under St Marks Theater
94 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
Tickets: $7 and $10


David Barr Kirtley reads at Line Break #15 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
Greetings, Line Break fans! Continuing our month of wonderful things to read...

...if you were with us back in January, our friend David Barr Kirtley dropped by to read us only the first half of his sci-fi romp "Power Armor: A Love Story," a tale of alternate timelines, unlikely romance, and, of course, power armor. The audience was devastated when, for reasons of time, Dave had to stop halfway through. But don't worry! If you didn't manage track down the link to the story back then, we have it for you right here.

read "power armor: a love story" at lightspeed magazine

Give it a read!

And please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 2nd, when we'll return at the special time of 5:00 pm for Line Break #19, featuring World Fantasy Award nominee Michael Libling, Afrofuturist author Sherese Francis, poet and editor Emily Alta Hockaday, storyteller and essayist Julie Threlkeld, and poet Kurt Olsson. Don't miss it!


Sam J. Miller reads at Line Break #13 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
Hello again, Line Break fans! As a reminder, we're on hiatus for the month of May, so we won't be having a show this Saturday at Q.E.D. However, we don't want to leave you high and dry for the month, so we'll be popping up from time to time to tell you about some wonderful things to read.

First up, back in November our friend Sam J. Miller stopped by to read for us from his novel The Art of Starving. Well, we're happy to report that Sam's new novel, Blackfish City, has just come out. Not only is it well worth your time to check out, but Sam appeared on NPR's "Weekend Edition" a couple of weeks ago to talk about it with host Scott Simon!

audio: talking with author sam j. miller about 'blackfish city'

It really is a charming interview, so please give it a listen. Then buy yourself a copy of Blackfish City!

And please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 2nd, when we'll return at the special time of 5:00 pm for Line Break #19, featuring World Fantasy Award nominee Michael Libling, Afrofuturist author Sherese Francis, poet and editor Emily Alta Hockaday, storyteller and essayist Julie Threlkeld, and poet Kurt Olsson. Don't miss it!


Justin Weinberger reads at Line Break #18 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
The Center has an important new assignment for you, Line Break fans! Listen carefully, memorize your mission, then destroy this tape.

Last month at Line Break #18, we were treated to a chapter from Justin Weinberger's novel-in-progress. But besides being a novelist, Justin also writes for The Americans, which many regard as the best scripted drama currently on television. His episode, co-written with the legendary Stephen Schiff, airs tonight at 10:00 pm on FX.

This is Episode 6 of the sixth and final season of The Americans, and the screws are turning ever tighter for the show's titular married Russian spies. What's more, the title of the episode is "Rififi," and we're intrigued by the connection to that classic heist film. So tune in, comrades. It's your patriotic duty!

(And huge congratulations to Justin!)


Robert J. Howe reads at Line Break #15 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
Congratulations to Line Break reader Robert J. Howe on the publication of his poem "The Ghosts of Christmas" by Punch Drunk Press!

If you were at Line Break #15 back in January, then you were lucky enough to hear Bob perform this piece as the capper to a terrific poetry reading. If you weren't there, then please click over to Punch Drunk Press and catch the flavor of what everyone was buzzing about after the show.

This is the kind of high-quality writing you'll hear at every episode of Line Break. Join us next for Line Break #17 on March 3rd, where you'll hear deathless prose by Jennifer Marie Brissett, Nancy Hightower, Renee Mariotti, Jonathan Sumpter, and Rachel Voss. We promise you a rewarding hour of literary goodness.


Poets of Queens Reading Series

Line Break is pleased to welcome a new local reading series to the neighborhood! Our guest Olena Jennings, who read for us at Line Break #10, has recently founded the new organization Poets of Queens, with a mission to celebrate the poets of Queens and create a community around poetry in Queens.

In keeping with that mission, the new Poets of Queens Reading Series will take place this Wednesday, December 6, 7:30 pm at Vintage Wine Bar at 23-14 Ditmars Blvd in Astoria. The featured poets will be Sherese Francis (who read for us way back at Line Break #1) and Lucas Hunt.

So please, head out to Vintage on Wednesday night to support poets and poetry in Queens, and we'll hope to see you there!

More info:


We're delighted to announce that host William Shunn's new short story, "Last," has just appeared at, an online science fiction anthology and writing competition presented by XPRIZE.

XPRIZE, as you may know, is a non-profit organization that designs and manages public science competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit all of humanity. (No small goal, there.) One of their latest initiatives is a push for science fiction stories that promote a more hopeful future than the dystopian visions that seem to be so popular.

To that end, XPRIZE has launched, a site that is both an online anthology and a fiction contest. Thirty well-known science fiction writers have all contributed short stories about the passengers on a transatlantic flight that departs Tokyo in 2017 but somehow lands in San Francisco in 2037. The contributors list includes names like Margaret Atwood, Hugh Howey, Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Charles Yu, whose stories were written to highlight the amazing positive effects that twenty years of scientific advancement could have on a city like San Francisco.

As for the contest, XPRIZE invites readers to submit their own stories about the passenger in Seat 14C. The winner, to be chosen by members of the XPRIZE Science Fiction Advisory Council, will receive round-trip airfare to Tokyo, four nights in a four-star hotel, and $1,500 in spending cash, besides having his or her story published on

Find everything you need to know about entering at:

But hurry! The deadline for entries is August 25, 2017.

"Last" illustration by Marco Melgrati for William Shunn's story in XPRIZE's Seat 14C anthology - click to view - mousewheel to zoom

Will you answer "The Call"?


Here at Line Break, we love to feature the work of our readers when we can. So please, on this Independence Day, check out this animated short film by Jonathan Weiss, which was scored by our recent Issue #9 reader William Cusick.


Queens Lit Fest 2017
For three years now, the Queens Lit Fest has highlighted the incredible talent and diversity of writers in this greatest of New York City's boroughs. Line Break host William Shunn participated last year, and he's delighted to be doing so again this year.

William Shunn reads for Line Break at the Queens Lit Fest, LIC Landing, Long Island City, NY, July 16, 2016 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
The Queens Lit Fest 2017 runs for two full days this weekend at LIC Landing in Long Island City. Admission for both days is free but does require an RSVP.

Bill will be reading promptly at 7:00 pm on Sunday evening, but don't come just for him. Come for an afternoon, evening, or all day to hear a wide array of Queens poets, essayists, storytellers, and more, including Line Break veterans like Emily Alta Hockaday, Jackie Sherbow, and Audrey Dimola.

It's going to be a great event. Don't miss it!

Queens Lit Fest 2017
Saturday, April 29 & Sunday, April 30

LIC Landing
52-10 Center Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
Free with RSVP

LIC Landing is a leisurely walk from the 7 train at Vernon Blvd.–Jackson Av.

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Line Break

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Line Break is an eclectic monthly reading series showcasing a mix of fiction, poetry and essays. We are currently on hiatus.

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