Living among the ones and zeros of California's Silicon Valley-the coders and big-bucks brainiacs-the group of lower middle-class friends in this tale are trying to fashion futures out of whatever opportunities they can find. The group includes a would-be chef, a flirtatious (and unfaithful) waitress, a single mother with a tattoo of Bart Simpson on her shoulder, and an easy-going young man who must make some hard choices. Their story is about fortune cookies, class warfare, disease-fighting neuropeptides, strawberry rhubarb pie, and what it will take to be happy.
Al Riske grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and ghostwriter. His short stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Pindeldyboz, Switchback, and Blue Mesa Review, where his story 'Pray for Rain' won the review's 2008 fiction prize. He now lives in California with his wife, Joanne, and their dog, Bodie.