Falling from Trees is a collection of tales in the tradition of Italo Calvino, Jorges Borges, Stanislaw Lem and Philip K. Dick. And while coming from the speculative tale tradition Falling from Trees strikes out new territory in exploring consciousness, identity and the human condition. More than just embodying ideas, these stories are written with heart and longing. And humor.
"Falling from Trees is a collection of otherworldly tales from Fiorito. This set of loosely connected stories touches on a wide range of timely and universal topics via science-fictional elements...readers will largely find it entertaining. The stories run the gamut from fully realized works to quick, slice-of-life glimpses of characters...an often engaging short story cycle."
"Fiorito's prose is magical, evocative, mesmerizing."
-New York Journal of Books
"Fiorito's Falling from Trees is a collection of short stories that revolve around one theme - the relationship with the other, with what's ' different ' and troubles our balance. But it is precisely this 'diversity' that saves us because what apparently separates us is what unites us. The important thing is to know, as one of the protagonists says, that ′′ everything is relative ", even the distance between Earth and other planets. Fiorito uses a surreal and dream style to outline his characters, children who draw alone and see ′′ the immortality of yellow", or aliens that bring special gifts to humanity: first and foremost, the meaning of life. And so, thanks to their gifts, all of us finally ′′ have a purpose ′′ and discover ′′ that the universe is made of music."
-Maria Rosa Cutrufelli, Author of The Woman Outlaw
"There is something magical about a well-written short story. Past masters of the genre such as Jorge Borges, Italo Calvino, Lafcadio Hearne and Henry James manage, in a few short pages, to instill in the reader a sense of wonderment, intrigue and mystery. The really great stories do not always need a twist ending to make their impact. Creating a sense of unease or planting an idea that makes the reader look at the normal and mundane in a different way is sufficient.
In his anthology Falling from Trees Mike Fiorito achieves all of these things. In many of his stories he places his protagonists in locations of total normality; a man waking up late at night and deciding to go for a walk, a chance meeting with an old teacher at a religious shrine or falling in love with a work associate. But all of these situations contain within them, lurking just below the surface, a magical world of high strangeness just waiting to erupt. In others he starts the narrative from a location of high strangeness and has the mundane and the predictable break through. He then has a third variety, a series of vaguely linked stories involving the mysterious entity known simply as "Smith". We never really discover who, or what Smith is, but our own imagination is allowed to fill in the details.
I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. So much so that as soon as I had finished them, I read them again. I suspect I will be returning to this short volume of gems many times in the future, and each time they will shine ever brighter.'
-Anthony Peake, Author of The Hidden Universe
“Fiorito is an accomplished writer, and in this collection of short stories he creates a series of intriguing vignettes, which together make up far more than the sum of their parts. The atmospheres conjured up stay with you long after reading, by turns wistful, illogical, and deeply human. A diverting book with a unique flavor.”
-Nikki Wyrd, Editor of the Psychedelic Press Journal
"What makes Fiorito's Falling from Trees fantastic aren't elements of the fantastic--aliens and intergalactic travel, miracles and magic--but, rather, what the interconnected stories show us about relationships."
-Chad Frame, Director of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program
I am currently reading Fiorito’s wonderful book and it reminds of all my experiences each day. The stories take you to a part of reality that comes to life inside your dreams. Having said that they seem real and in the moment both at the same time! Hand touches eye, eye touches a yellow color, a color touches the moment of death, the moment of death touches a tree, and so on, and on as things, thoughts, lost memories come back to life and we are on to the story! I am loving every journey into the inner world of his wonderful new book.
-Myron Dyal, Artist
My name is Mike Fiorito and this is the website for my book Falling from Trees. I am an Associate Editor for Mad Swirl Magazine and a regular contributor to the Red Hook Star Revue. My other books are Call Me Guido (Ovunque Siamo Press), Freud’s Haberdashery Habits and Hallucinating Huxley (Alien Buddha Press). I have another book slated for 2021. I am currently working on a novel.
In these tumultuous times, science fiction can be either comforting or provocative. Mike Fiorito’s Falling from Trees is both. His stories depict the alien race that rescues humanity through imagery, color, and sound, transcending the distance between its planet and Earth.
The collection begins with “Climbing Time” where the aliens reach out to individuals with Asperger’s, communicating with them in vivid, wordless dreams. Another common theme is the disastrous impact of climate change. In a prescient irony, the interconnected “Pale Leviathan” and “Tomorrow’s Ghost” present the fierceness of the sun invading the characters’ cooled home and the claustrophobia of the world where soon children will, as in our world, be forced to attend school remotely. The ending of “Tomorrow’s Ghost” blends provocation and comfort in a particularly striking way. Other stories follow the enigmatic alien Smith, a “word person” rather than a numbers person, through believable, mysterious encounters with humans. A change of pace story portrays the possibility of romance between an astronomer and a magician, both of Italian descent.
Those of you whose experience with science fiction is limited to a few episodes of Star Trek should take a chance on Fiorito’s stories. They showcase the genre’s possibilities for character as well as world-building that emphasizes imagery, color, and sound over technology, especially military technology.
-Marianne Szlyk, author of Poetry en Plein Air.