Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

The Ace of Lightning (2017)

by Stephen-Paul Martin

Print: $19.95
EBook: $9.95

Stephen-Paul Martin’s The Ace of Lightning is a series of interconnected stories focused on a turning point in Western history: the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which triggered World War I, and the mysterious circumstances that led Gavrilo Princip to shoot and kill the heir apparent to one of Europe’s most powerful empires.
Far from being a conventional work of historical fiction, Martin’s collection asks readers to think about what truly constitutes history. What would the past look like if history was written under the influence of Mad Magazine and The Twilight Zone? What happens when the assassination in Sarajevo becomes “the assassination in Sarajevo,” when Gavrilo Princip becomes “Gavrilo Princip,” when the past and the present shape a textual future that looks suspiciously like a past that never was and a present that never is?

Read an excerpt of The Ace of Lightning here!


"History as fiction, fiction as history. . . . It's fascinating to see how successful Martin will be as he moves from one fictional riff to another, playing fiction off history and history off fiction in one humorous, absurd, and serious tale after another. Some riffs are off-key but this is an ambitious and original effort well worth checking out."
Kirkus Reviews

“Stephen-Paul Martin is a longtime, masterful, postmodern storyteller, whose characters’ meditations often blend together with his narrators’ essay-like ruminations in unexpected, comic, recursive, explosive, and subtle ways. Delineating a sinister, deeply absurd world which has both annihilated the capacity for laughter and repeatedly, urgently demands it, The Ace of Lightning takes us inside historical necessity, where time is fluid and Martin’s comic imagination runs wonderfully rampant.”
—Mel Freilicher, author of The Encyclopedia of Rebels and The Unmaking of Americans: 7 Lives