Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

The Lightning of Possible Storms

by (author) Jonathan Ball

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Short Stories (single author), Mashups, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • Audio

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Winner of the 2021 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

Aleya’s world starts to unravel after a café customer leaves behind a collection of short stories. Surprised and disturbed to discover that it has been dedicated to her, Aleya delves into the strange book…

A mad scientist seeks to steal his son’s dreams. A struggling writer, skilled only at destruction, finds himself courted by Hollywood. A woman seeks to escape her body and live inside her dreams. Citizens panic when a new city block manifests out of nowhere. The personification of capitalism strives to impress his cutthroat boss.

The more Aleya reads, the deeper she sinks into the mysterious writer’s work, and the less real the world around her seems. Soon, she’s overwhelmed as a new, more terrifying existence takes hold.

Jonathan Ball’s first collection of short fiction blends humour and horror, doom, and daylight, offering myriad possible storms.

About the author

Jonathan Ball is an award-winning author of dark, experimental artworks. He holds a PhD in creative writing and uses an analytical approach to show serious writers new ways to write, edit, and work so they can create innovative art that stands taller than the crowd. He is the author of numerous books, including Ex Machina (Book*hug), poetry about how machines have changed what it means to be human, Clockfire (Coach House Books), 77 plays that would be impossible to produce, The Politics of Knives (Coach House Books), poems about violence, narrative, and spectatorship, and winner of a Manitoba Book Award, and The National Gallery (Coach House Books). Jonathan also published John Paizs's Crime Wave (University of Toronto Press), an academic study of a neglected cult film classic, which was launched at the Toronto International Film Festival and also won a Manitoba Book Award. Jonathan has also directed short films, (including Spoony B, which sold to The Comedy Network), served as the managing editor of dANDelion magazine, and founded the literary journal Maelstrom. In 2014, Jonathan won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. He lives online at, where he writes about writing the wrong way. Jonathan currently lives in Winnipeg. 

Jonathan Ball's profile page


  • Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

Editorial Reviews

"All of these explorations of writing and art are surreal and fragmented, yet woven together masterfully. Each story is a collection of threads that seems meaningless until you begin to see how they connect, how the ideas and concepts come together to form a cohesive tapestry that is far greater than the sum of its parts." —Prairie Fire

"The Lightning of Possible Storms is a genuinely bracing and exciting experience, profoundly unsettling and disorienting. Anyone who enjoys having their ass kicked by a book of fiction will not be disappointed." —The Miramichi Reader

"The Lightning of Possible Storms is an impressive clockwork construction of narrative cogs and gears that never loses sight of either its humanity or its nature as a manufactured work of art." —Quill & Quire

"Ball’s interwoven stories create an immersive yet dizzying experience." —Broken Pencil Magazine

Related lists