Short Fiction

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The Madeleine Machine by ​Megan Hunter
14577105857 C14Ef08847 O 1

What was the earth like?

My sister asks this every night, leaning back on her pillow. The question is part of our routine, along with brushing our teeth, peeing, pushing our legs into the soft holes of our pajamas.

Mumbai by Kristen Gleason
Gleason Bomb 141

When he could no longer stand her chatter—in France I made myself a dress of leaves stitched together with stems and I wore it by that river, the big one, the sludge, and that’s how I met many interesting boyfriends from the National Geographic Magazine—he left Nancy on the hotel roof with the chef from Mumbai.

Fanny’s Lament (More Experimental Animals) by Thalia Field

It was with the printing press and Enlightenment science that history first demarcated itself from literature as a field of knowledge founded on scientific principles and archival methods.

Signor Hoffman by Eduardo Halfon

From the train I could look out onto the infinite blue of the sea. I was still exhausted, wakeful from the overnight transatlantic flight to Rome, but looking out at the sea, that Mediterranean sea that was so infinite and so blue, made me forget it all, even myself. I don’t know why.

Stephanie Barber by Laura van den Berg
Stephanie Barber 1

“You poor, quite accurate word… cast aside for being too apt!”

BOMB’s Biennial Fiction Contest
Masses and Motets: Another Francesca Fruscella Mystery by Jeffrey DeShell

“I pray to God to rid me of God”



“Pray without ceasing.”

—Thessalonians I 5:17

Ravalushan by Mohammed Naseehu Ali

The music we heard on our radios that morning was nothing new to our ears; it was what the soldiers played whenever they make a coup. 

Perpetual Motion: Jonathan Littell by Jesse Kohn
Mario Montez

In short fiction and novellas, Littell explores the allure of hell.

Mayan Dusk by Juan Villoro

Translated from the Spanish by Kimberly Traube

Unfastening This Ridiculous Shit by ​Gregory Lawless
1860 Body

Gregory Lawless and Robb Todd on happiness, Cormac McCarthy, and Todd’s new collection, Steal Me for Your Stories.

Fiction for Driving Across America: Saint Jerome & the Dumpster Girls by Ben Ristow
Ben Ristow

In the tenth installment in BOMB’s literary podcast series, listen to Ben Ristow read his short story “Saint Jerome & the Dumpster Girls,” originally published in BOMB 114.

Three Stories by Chiara Barzini
Benjamin Naca. Noche venusiana

The news arrives: “The Prime Minister is dead.” 

Miedo by Evelio Rosero

Una vez llamó a su casa, por teléfono, y se contestó él mismo. No pudo creerlo, y colgó.

The Bar On Tompkins Square Park by Frederic Tuten
Frederic Tuten

In the fifth installment in BOMB’s Fiction for Driving Across America series, Frederic Tuten reads his story “The Bar On Tompkins Square Park,” originally published in BOMB 108’s literary supplement, First Proof.

Fiction for Driving: Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward
​Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward reads an excerpt from her novel Where the Line Bleeds, published in BOMB 105’s literary supplement, First Proof.

Excerpt from Nine Nights by Bernardo Carvalho
​Bernardo Carvalho

This is for when you get here. You have to be prepared. Somebody has to warn you.

The Zero Meter Diving Team by Jim Shepard

Here’s what it’s like to bear up under the burden of so much guilt: everywhere you drag yourself you leave a trail. Late at night, you gaze back and view an upsetting record of where you’ve been.

In the High Ceiling of Stars by Bradford Morrow

The white moon acted as cynosure. Angstrom lay awake in his bed, situated directly beneath its transparency.

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