Midnight at the Organporium
Available at Aqueduct Press:
What do a homicidal houseplant, an enchanted office picnic, sentient fog, and the perfect piece of toast have in common? They’re all part of the world of Midnight at the Organporium. At turns droll, wicked, and surreal, these tales cover topics from white flight, to the Princess and the Pea, to marriage in the afterlife.
Visit Midnight at the Organporium for a dose of twisted obsession, covert complicity, and peculiar empowerment—and don’t forget to pick up your spare heart while you’re there.
Praise for Midnight at the Organporium
"Equal parts surreal and wickedly droll, Campbell’s collection of 12 stories traverses reality in a way that highlights the extraordinary within everyday life. ... Though this may sound like a mashup of unrelated oddities, the stories have been cleverly arranged to maintain a coherent and alluring tone, and Campbell’s versatility is impressive. Each tale is dryly funny, poetic, poignant, dark, and trippy. Readers who are hungry for a quick visit to somewhere left of reality will gladly immerse themselves in this profoundly avant-garde book."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"Tara Campbell’s Midnight at the Organporium (Conversation Pieces: Volume 67) is a more eclectic collection, showcasing an array of moods and story-telling techniques. ... By far my favourite story, the one that I think best highlights the breadth of Campbell’s imagination and her askew view of the world, is ‘Speculum Crede’. It begins with a cracking opening paragraph..."
Ian Mond, Locus
"Campbell uses humor to lure us, sometimes in a steadily growing scene of horror, other times in a political commentary that strikes too close to home, and sometimes in pure, delightful silliness. Only Campbell can write a story about a homicidal plant, and deeply connect readers to its wounded owner, or a satirical story about parenting that makes us ache and burst out laughing in the same breath."
Hannah Grieco, Washington City Paper
"...my favorite story in the collection is reality with no twist at all, just a painfully funny snippet of life unfiltered. “Aftermilk” offers us the harried fifteen minutes of breakfast time before the school bus pulls up, staggering under the weight of jaundiced advice from a divorced mother to her children. She is an unwilling expert on how the course of your entire life really can turn on whether you’re just pretending to be able to afford the brand-name cereal. And her exegesis on the timing required to produce the perfect slice of buttered toast is both inspired and a fully realized metaphor for life."
Jennifer Yacovissi, Late Last Night Books
"Each story creates a unique perspective and creates conversation as all good fiction should. Each is quirky and diverse, fascinating to read and shine as a reflection of the author's talent, unexpected and intriguing. If you like a fascinating read, short stories that make you reflect, this collection is perfect for you."
Andrea Rittschof, The Nameless Zine
"Tara Campbell's stories exist at a delightful quarter turn to the left from our world—places where CEOs turn into lions, and hearts are sold in the mall—while simultaneously beautifully and deftly exploring exactly what it means to be human."
Tina Connolly, World Fantasy-nominated author of On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories
"Sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, and always full of heart -- in Midnight at the Organporium, the everyday and the fantastic conspire to create the authentic."
Erin Fitzgerald, author of Valletta73
"So much unexpected happens in Tara Campbell’s weird and wonderful short story collection, Midnight at the Organporium, that I didn’t want to let these stories go. This slim, but packed collection of 12 stories from Aqueduct Press, makes the ordinary extraordinary—from the ghost of Lucille in “Death Sure Changes a Person” to a thief of hearts in the Southside Mall in the title story, “Midnight at the Organporium.” Red from Red Riding Hood re-tells her story with a roar and a vengeance in “Another Damn Cottage.” Whereas “You, Commuter” is a nightmarish wonder of flash fiction about an everyday bus ride. “The Rapture” comes at you slant, or at least that’s how it opens, and we soon have much more than a commonplace end of the world story—we have a story of race that rises on the shoulders of Octavia Butler. These stories all astonish and astound. From full-length to flash fiction, Campbell’s stories in Midnight at the Organporium sneak up on you with an exquisite hyper-realism, a sure-fire wit, and most of all, a daring sense of adventure and possibility."
Caroline Bock, author of Carry Her Home, Before My Eyes and Lie
Interview with Leslie Pietrzyk at TBR