Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Size Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone's First Decade

Lookout Books
$18.95 paperback
5.5 x 8.5  
300 pages
March 11, 2014

In his introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2008, Salman Rushdie called Ecotone one of a handful of journals on which “the health of the American short story depends.” Now at the close of an award-winning first decade, the magazine has established itself as a preeminent venue for original short fiction from both recognized and emerging writers, with more than 20 stories from 16 issues reprinted or noted in the Best American, New Stories from the South, Pushcart, and PEN/O. Henry series.

With the publication of this anthology, Lookout Books makes a permanent home for the vital work of Ecotone regular contributors Steve Almond, Rick Bass, Edith Pearlman, Ron Rash, Bill Roorbach, and Brad Watson, along with rising talents Lauren Groff, Ben Stroud, and Kevin Wilson, among others. In keeping with the magazine’s mission to reimagine place, the collection explores transitional zones, the spaces where we are most threatened and alive. From a city fallen silent to a doomed nineteenth-century ship, from a startling birth in the woods to the bog burial of an adored archaeologist, from the loop of hair in a drowned trader’s locket to the sanctity of pointy boots in a war zone, these stories make beautiful noise of our most fundamental human longings.


Awarded Gold in the 2014 Anthologies category by Independent Publisher Book Awards


Introduction by Ben Fountain

Steve Almond
Karen Bender
Kevin Brockmeier
Cary Holladay
George Makana Clark
Brock Clarke
Lauren Groff
Daniel Orozco
Benjamin Percy
Edith Pearlman
Ron Rash
Bill Roorbach
Stephanie Soileau
Ben Stroud
Kevin Wilson
and others


"I started to say what a stellar and concentrated selection of stories compose this fine book, stories full of all of our hope and danger and unease, but I’m just going to offer this simple note: this is a book I’ll hand to my friends when they want to know where the short story is thriving." —Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine
"These stories care deeply about the physical world—sea, fire, city, countryside—but their concerns also press into every corner of existence—politics, love, regret, ambition. Heirs to Whitman, the collective voices are beautiful, soulful, crushing, and intelligent." —Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat
"Astoria to Zion is a dazzling literary showcase of veterans and new voices, which offers all that readers have come to expect from Ecotone. While conjuring and exploring wildly varied places, this collection stakes out a stellar one of its own." —Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
"This collection is an emporium of sublime notions, glittering delights and daredevil marvels. Twenty-six stories, each fantastically conceived and sensuously wrought, burnished and durable; a superb anthology, not to be missed." —Melissa Pritchard, author of Palmerino