Blog Archives


Roadswell Editions has THE MERCURY WALTZ: ebook, trade hardcover, and bespoke hardcover, all available now and here!


Early reviews are in …

If Dickens had a penchant for opium and sodomy he might have given us a world as rich as The Mercury Waltz, but only Kathe Koja could wholly deliver these goods. This beguiling,  complex, urban tale of rueful economies, of how the puppet strings of love and lust are forever  entangled, is simply inimitable.”
          – Tom Cardamone, author of Green Thumb and The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered

“Kathe Koja’s creations are unlike those of any living writer.  Her peers are Ovid and Petronius, Rimbaud and Wilde.  Having sipped of the same ancient nectar as the children of Apollo, Koja deftly crafts a lusty, transcendent prose which impishly re-imagines the traditional antitheses of pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, spectacle and reality.”   – Adam Burgess, Roof Beam Reader

The Mercury Waltz returns us to the grimy, decadent, fin-de-siècle world of Under the Poppy, cranking the resolution to reveal every brilliantly imagined nook of one corner of this world, in prose that is exquisite, sensual, evocative, romantic, and luxurious.  There is no one left to compare Koja to–I don’t know another writer with her fearlessness, erudition, and perfect pitch.  The effect is dazzling.”
          – Lewis Shiner, author of Slam and Deserted Cities of the Heart



The wheel turns, the years revolve

Cry the Mercury!

. . . Good news in a city that needs good news, as it needs a storm to dispel the hot miasmas and send the rain like lovers’ tears, wash the wax from its Bridge and the grit from its gutters, and turn the fortune wheel of the year from thick summer to the darker precincts of autumn, the season of endings and departures, of fog and frost and luminosity as false and lovely as any footlights on any stage. The city needs a new show, and it shall have one, the spinning silver waltz of the feast of fools.

A quote from THE MERCURY WALTZ to wish that the wheel may spin pleasure and knowledge for us all, as it turns from one year to the newest and next. Watch for the wink of the gods, listen for the rustle of dance slippers (or winged feet?), keep your wits about you, and the show will go on and take you along with it. Here’s to glad departures, here’s to the New Year!

Let the fête begin


Writing a piece on the writing of THE MERCURY WALTZ, when I’d thought the story ended in the POPPY, brought me back to the surprise of that beginning, or re-beginning: the doubt and the challenge, and the exhilaration that the show, yes, must go on, with new players aside the veterans, and new puppets to jig, sport, break hearts and tell the truth no matter how inconvenient.

A work must first be a gift to the writer before s/he can give it to its readers. I’ll hope that you’ll accept this mercurial gift, that it be as surprising and pleasing and bracing as a cold Champagne cocktail served stageside by a beauty in a mask, while drums, or is it thunder, or is it soldiers? thrum outside in the greater dark.



Step this way, mesdames et messieurs …

MW proofs 1

MW proofs 2

MW proofs 3

“The fox’s hide fits the puppet like a second skin …”

The proofs and jacket have arrived, on this morning’s doorstep, literally. Time, almost, to pull wide the curtains on this show!

Extras please!

Mercury Waltz extras

Worth three thousand words, then, this image of three images: the double bookmarks and the Puppet, soon to be colorfully embellished and attended by a jaunty little walking stick, ready to jig for his supper wherever the bespoke edition of THE MERCURY WALTZ is found.

Thanks again to artist Megan Weber for her playfully decadent designs, the ironwork flower and the smile on the face of that puppet, those winged feet ready to dance or to depart.



The POPPY as pin-up!


Under the Poppy Clarion calendar Lee MoyerAnd for a good cause, too: the Clarion Foundation and its workshop create the conditions where good writing can come into being, much as the stage is set for a puppet to play. Very pleased that the Poppy is part of this endeavor by artist Lee Moyer!

Time to waltz

MercuryThe Musée d’Orsay’s exhibition “Masculine/Masculine. The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day” is one that, were he in the vicinity, the young writer Frédéric-Seraphim Blum might well attend, and more than once, though with varying feelings of elation, pleasure, and dismay:

 . . . Frédéric’s last question trailing as they cross up the aisle—“Why is it called the Mercury, your theatre?”—to bring Istvan’s quote from “Priapus, do you know him?  That is, the classics?  I’m sure Seraphim does, it’s a fairly juicy bit,” as the door is closed, as the quote is proffered, as before they part Istvan sees once more that alarmed and charming blush.

From THE MERCURY WALTZ, soon to be released by Roadswell Editions.

Created by Dream-Theme — premium wordpress themes.