The Age of Perpetual Light

Josh Weil (The Great Glass Sea) is an immense talent, a writer who can craft convincing characters, with distinct voice and ethos, and also elevate narrative language to a level of poetry. The eight stories in The Age of Perpetual Light are thematically connected by Fulbright Fellow Weil's treatment of technology, specifically the evolution of modern lighting. The collection begins with "No Flies, No Follies" and ends with "Hello from Here," both first-person tales narrated by a Jewish peddler named Yankel, who, at the start of the 20th century, falls in love with an Amish woman to whom he shows off the wonders of an electric lamp. In between these two stories, Weil explores the early- to mid-20th-century United States with "Long Bright Line," about a female painter obsessed with airplanes, and "The Essential Constituent of Modern Living Standards," about farm workers organizing against a power company. "Angle of Reflection" focuses on satellites of the late century, while "The Point of Roughness" and "Beautiful Ground" explore relationships in more modern-day settings. "The First Bad Thing" represents Weil's foray into near-future dystopian fiction in which "mirror light" provides endless daylight and crop-growing capacity for humans.

It isn't the evolution of technology itself but humans' relationship to it that defines these stories. The Age of Perpetual Light is the result of an original mind working at the nexus of known history and poetic imagination. The collection is luminous throughout, its impressions and insights into the human condition coalescing like wondrous heat on a cold night. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

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