John Talbird is the author of the chapbook, A Modicum of Mankind (Norte Maar) and the novel The World Out There (Madville Publishing). His fiction and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Potomac Review, Ambit, Juked, The Literary Review, and Riddle Fence among many others. He is a frequent contributor to Film International, on the editorial board of Green Hills Literary Lantern and Associate Editor, Fiction, for the noir online journal Retreats from Oblivion. A professor at Queensborough Community College-CUNY, he lives with his wife and two sons in New York City.
The car wreck into a lake in the opening pages of The World Out There acts as a catalyst for the action—the waves radiating from the impact like danger reverberating through the book. The violence that follows is not the novel’s only focus. We follow the lives of the three central characters, each a Gen-Xer who moved to Gainesville, FL to get college degrees and then never left. Their ideas of “success” drift away as they pass through their thirties, replaced with a vagueness of purpose, a nagging that there is something else they’re supposed to be doing.