Warnings from the Future

Books distributed by the Chicago Distribution Center

152 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2018

ISBN (pbk): 978-1-946724-03-8

ISBN (ebook): 978-1-946724-08-3

Published September 2018

Warnings from the Future


Ethan Chatagnier

In ten provocative stories, Ethan Chatagnier presents us with characters in crisis, people grappling with their own and others’ darkness as they search for glimmers to carry them through difficult times, untenable tasks, uncertain futures. The collection explores with unflinching eloquence the quandaries of conscience posed by the present, but also plunges us into a startlingly prescient “what if?” world, exploring in both realms questions concerning the value of perseverance, art, hope, and heart.

In “The Law of Threes,” a reluctant cop tries to survive a night of frenzied police retribution. In “Miracle Fruit,” a genetic engineer is tasked with destroying the world’s last seed bank. “The Unplayable Etudes” follows a damaged yet brilliant pianist as she attempts to perform music designed to be impossible to play. In “Smaller Tragedies,” a conflicted photographer documents the aftermath of an earthquake, while in “Dentists,” a young man watches his neighbors flee under cover of night, fearful of the country-wide escalation of hate-based violence.

“He had walked around the far edge of the produce truck from the other side of the wreck, and was approaching her. He was not screaming, but he was not swaying his arms as he walked either. A thin line of dried blood went from his hair past his ear and down his neck. There is something about a person who is in true need of help, something that creates a beacon, even if they say nothing.”

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About the Author

Ethan Chatagnier is the author of the novel Singer Distance (Tin House, 2022), winner of the CALIBA Golden Poppy Award, and the story collection Warnings from the Future (2018), a finalist for the Foreword INDIES award. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of literary journals including the Kenyon Review Online, Georgia Review, New England Review, Story, Five Points, Michigan Quarterly Review,  and the Cincinnati Review. His stories have won a Pushcart Prize and been listed as notable in the Best American Short Stories and the Million Writers Award. He is a graduate of Fresno State University, where he won the Larry Levis Prize in Poetry, and of Emerson College, where he earned an MA in Publishing and Writing. He lives in Fresno, California with his family.

Ethan Chatagnier

Photo Credit: Grace Rose Photo

Praise for Warnings from the Future

2018 Foreword INDIES Finalist in Short Fiction

“Real emotional intelligence. . . . Chatagnier is at his best when plumbing the emotional depths of ordinary lives.”
Kirkus Reviews

“I seldom get this excited about a new collection of stories. Ethan Chatagnier has written a superb book, and I admired every one of these. They are inventive, gripping and surprising. He knows his characters inside out, and by the end of each story, you will too.”
Steve Yarbrough, author of The Unmade World and The Realm of Last Chances

“While the stories expose systems of terrifying power in familiar settings—cops, corporations, dogmas, and demagogues—unexpected complexities and inverted dynamics continually crop up to distance the stories from didacticism or overfamiliarity.”
Joe Sacksteder, The Kenyon Review

“By using a fragmentary structure and moving from one character to the next, Chatagnier allows us to quickly see this world through different lenses. It is hard to tell where our sympathies should lie: by switching POV, we are allowed to see everything from both sides.”

“Warnings from the Future, cover to cover, is a fantastic collection, which should surprise no one…What Chatagnier ultimately offers are insightful portraits of employees, grieving family members, decent cops, students and neighbors, i.e. real stakeholders in society, searching dearly for the humanity lost in the system. It is an enviable debut.”
Avee Chaudhuri, Necessary Fiction

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