Byliner Publishes THE CASTAWAY: A Novella

By the Critically Acclaimed Frank Huyler

“Huyler’s writing is quiet, precise, spellbinding from beginning to end … Easily holds with the best contemporary fiction.” —The New York Times

March 20, 2013—San Francisco— Published today by digital publisher Byliner, The Castaway ($1.99), by Frank Huyler, is a seafaring fever dream in the grand tradition of Joseph Conrad, Paul Bowles, and Robert Stone, with an uncanny dash of the supernatural. Long after you’ve finished this enthralling novella, it will continue to haunt.

A watchman aboard a tanker spies a sailboat, weather-beaten and covered in barnacles, adrift in the middle of the Pacific. Out of the cabin emerges a solitary boy, about six years old, clean and neatly dressed. He has no food or water yet is seemingly untouched by his random progress across the ocean.

He is rescued and taken on board, where he is eyed skeptically by the captain. “He looks like he is coming home from school. How is this possible?” The boy doesn’t speak a word, though at times he cries out like a seagull. He spends his days staring at walls or at the shifting shapes on a computer’s screen saver. The crew presents him with a cake, then watches in astonishment as he holds his finger in the flames of its candles without being burned.

The boy’s only protector is the tanker’s first mate, Shahid, a tenderhearted family man. As he watches over the eerily impassive child in an isolated cabin, the ship becomes increasingly uneasy. When the crew becomes sick with a mysterious illness to which the boy appears invulnerable, the fear becomes palpable, leading to a shocking conclusion that will be impossible for readers to erase from their minds.

About the Author: Frank Huyler is the author of two novels, Right of Thirst and The Laws of Invisible Things, and a nonfiction book about his experiences in medicine, The Blood of Strangers. His poems and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, and The American Scholar. He is an emergency physician and an associate professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

About Byliner: Byliner commissions and publishes original stories written to be read in a single sitting. These “e-short” stories are available on phone, tablet, or computer as part of the Byliner subscription service, and can also be purchased individually through the major digital bookstores. Bestselling Byliner titles include Richard Russo’s Nate in Venice, Amy Tan’s Rules for Virgins, Margaret Atwood’s Positron, Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett’s The Getaway Car, Nick Hornby’s Everyone’s Reading Bastard, and Buzz Bissinger’s After Friday Night Lights. On Byliner.com, readers get personalized access to an unmatched library of more than 20,000 fiction and nonfiction stories by the world’s best writers, allowing them to easily find, read, save, and share new and classic stories by their favorite authors.

The Castaway is available for $1.99 as a Kindle Single at Amazon, a Quick Read at Apple’s iBookstore, a Nook Snap at BarnesAndNoble.com, and a Short Read at Kobo. For a review copy or to schedule an interview with Frank Huyler, please contact Clare Hertel at clare@byliner.com; 505-474-6783.

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Byliner works directly with the world’s best writers to deliver great stories to readers. Named “one of the 10 Most Innovative Media Companies in the World” (Fast Company), Byliner is a subscription reading service and digital publisher of award-winning short fiction and nonfiction. A Byliner subscription provides unlimited access to more than 30,000 stories by hundreds of bestselling authors, as well as personalized story suggestions based on your reading time and interests. The entire library of Byliner Originals—including bestselling e-books by Margaret Atwood, Nick Hornby, Jon Krakauer, Ann Patchett, Nicole Krauss, Alexandra Fuller, Richard Russo, and Sebastian Junger—is available in the subscription service and through the major digital bookstores.

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Byliner Publishes THE CASTAWAY: A Novella by Frank Huyler. The novella is available for $1.99 from all the major digital bookstores.
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Quotes

“It turns out that mesmerizing fiction set at sea hasn’t gone the way of the tall ship after all. Frank Huyler’s ‘The Castaway’ made me want to assemble a new anthology of nautical novellas just so I could place it where it belongs, in the company of Conrad’s ‘The Secret Sharer’ and Melville’s ‘Benito Cereno.’ ”
Donovan Hohn, author of “Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them”