Bernard Fancher


I live on a small and mostly defunct farm in western New York, where the events of a typical day include writing and walking my dogs--items not necessarily listed in order of priority. (At least not from the dogs' point of view.)


Price: Free! Words: 3,860. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Coming of age
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Epi Martin was an intelligent young girl on the cusp of becoming a mature woman. She enjoyed the nearly unquestioning trust of her mother and the devoted attention of Alfredo, the young man whom she loved and who in turn was entirely taken with her special charms. The future seemed safe and quite certain, until one day of irrevocable change. A short story. (May be unsuitable for some readers.)
A Communion of Water and Blood
Price: Free! Words: 5,560. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2012. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Literature » Literary
A follow-up collection of poems continuing upon themes dealt with in "Before Dark, and After"--but concentrating more on the element of water than fire.
Before Dark, and After
Price: Free! Words: 5,480. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2012. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Literature » Literary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Poems that explore the interstice between light and dark, day and night, perhaps even good and evil.
Desire Under the Big Oak Tree
Price: Free! Words: 2,270. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2011. Categories: Screenplays » Short, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
A short play in one act, in which a couple considers their present and past.
A Last Hunt
Price: Free! Words: 1,550. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Literary
(3.00 from 2 reviews)
A short story about a man and his dog, and one last weekend together.
A Pond in the Middle of Nowhere
Price: Free! Words: 1,080. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance » General, Fiction » Romance » General
(4.38 from 8 reviews)
Years later, a young woman and man meet again, unexpectedly, a reunion that seems somehow fated.
Bed Rock
Price: Free! Words: 7,040. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
During the course of a long afternoon, Elgin Brick remembers his life and the people he loved. WARNING: This book contains descriptions of a sexual nature and might not be suitable for all readers. (This selection is also available in: The Empty House, assorted stories)
Price: Free! Words: 4,210. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Detective M. Raines investigates the wanton murder of a child, precipitating a re-evaluation of her own life and a small crisis of the soul. WARNING: This book contains descriptions of an unsettling nature, and might not be suitable for all readers.
My Home Is Hnme
Price: Free! Words: 1,900. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
(4.00 from 1 review)
A young woman returns to the place of her upbringing--to experience the past, present, and future as one.
A Trail in the Snow
Price: Free! Words: 3,380. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
(4.00 from 1 review)
One warming winter afternoon, Will skis with his brother to a secluded and sleepy hamlet, encountering more of the past than the present.
The End of the Circus
Price: Free! Words: 2,910. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
Boy meets girl after dark, at the conclusion of the circus... for a rendezvous both bitter and sweet.
Ghost Lake
Price: Free! Words: 4,690. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A father reconnects with his son on a trip to the lake, resurrecting more than just memories.
The Summer Boy
Price: Free! Words: 7,870. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Not only is Kyle Summer's ambition to become a big-league baseball pitcher, the quest defines his entire existence. Nothing else seems as important, until his father takes ill and he is called back home to the farm. (This selection is also available in: The Empty House, assorted stories)
Amish Country
Price: Free! Words: 7,080. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Jacob Mast is for the most part a content man, happy and proud of what his life's work has accomplished. And yet, his thoughts sometimes plague him with doubt. WARNING: This book contains descriptions of an unsettling nature and may not be appropriate for all readers. (This selection is also available in: The Empty House, assorted stories)
The Long Way
Price: Free! Words: 11,330. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Jordan embarks on a quest of memory and desire, which may be the longest journey of all. (This selection is also available in: Resurrection, Stories for the Living and Dead.)
That Day
Price: Free! Words: 15,940. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
(5.00 from 1 review)
After 9/11, Sarah knew her world would never be the same. She just never dreamed how different it would be. (Now also available, slightly revised, in the collection: "Resurrection, Stories for the Living and Dead") WARNING: This book contains graphic sexual and violent content, and may not be suitable for all readers.

Bernard Fancher's tag cloud

911 fiction    a second chance    adolescence    adult romance    adventure    alienation    amish    aspiration    baseball    childhood    circus    contemporary    contemporary poetry    country land    crosscountry    death    desire    dogs    duty    dying    evanescence    fall    farm    fate    friendship    future    ghosts    guilt    hunting    ice skating    innocence    leaves    light and dark    longing    loss    lost eden    lost worlds    love    memory    murder    mystery    nine eleven    nostalgia    past    play spirits family past present    poetry    present    reconciliation    redemption    regret    remembrance    reminiscence    reunion    school slaughter    sex    skiing    stars    submission    terrorism    time past    transitory existence    water    waterfall    young love   

Smashwords book reviews by Bernard Fancher

  • New York and Chador on April 14, 2011

    Very nice short short story. Very compact and even terse. A lot is going on here in a very few words. Reminds me of some of the masters of the form--notably Saki and Chekov. I found the girl in the story interesting, and was left wanting to know more. (Not only why she decided to wear the chador on this particular occasion, but also what happens in her life next.) One small quibble: 'joing' seems to be a typo for 'joining' and pretty much detracts from what is otherwise a lovely sentence. I do wish you would make the correction.
  • Homer's "Odyssey": A Retelling in Prose on Sep. 21, 2011

    Enjoyable and unpretentious. A simple retelling that makes this ancient masterwork entirely accessible to the modern reader. Bravo!
  • Tess and All Kinds on Oct. 02, 2011

    A slightly enigmatic little work, both pleasant and troubling. There are some beautiful sentences here, subtly symbolic. "It was windy now, and the breeze wandered behind her head and down the back of her neck." Soon the imagery expands to include a shell "rolled in a paper towel. She unwrapped it gently, looking at how the folds of the shell turned around on each other." A gift from her missing mother's boyfriend, it has "sleek lines and soft colors" and maybe "if she held it to her ears, she could hear the ocean." Finally, a pink barette (matching neither her shirts or single dress) subtly recalls not only the shell but the wind in her hair and the unheard sound of the ocean. Such language, rife with meaning and memory, defies easy explication. But it's entirely in keeping with the mood of this story and very gratifying to read.
  • The Stoat on Feb. 08, 2012

    Excellent story, but then the first place fiction award might have been the tip-off. (Except that I downloaded this selection some time ago and forgot all about the above description, until coming back here just now to put in a few good words of my own.) The Stoat of the title refers to the brown (imperfect) phase of the ermine weasil, as well perhaps to the protagonist; as such it serves as a clue to the reader. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but the last line did seem to subtly emphasize the point--that purity, if not perfection, remains an elusive goal. Well done.
  • Agricultural Production in the Sudan on June 15, 2012

    I just finished reading this concise and thought-provoking narrative. Believable description and dialogue imbue the telling of this slightly fantastic, innocuous event with understated support for the supposition that if evil is banal, its presence also often goes unrecognized among us; indeed it might even, at first, be mistaken for something entirely different. As a reader accostumed to being disappointed by the caliber of writing too-often put on display here at Smashwords, I find it personally gratifying to occasionally discover an entirely adept and subtle short story; this one will stay with - and likely haunt - me for quite some time to come.
  • Just a Look on Aug. 03, 2012

    The emotion in this short book of prose poems reminded me somewhat of the outpouring of grief exhibited by Caitlin Thomas on the death of her beloved Dylan. The sense of loss is quite palpable, and the tears no less intense for being spilled in this instance over one still living.
  • Schrodinger's Kitty: A Short and Uncertain Story on Nov. 06, 2012

    An encounter between strangers leads to a random yet predictable outcome. At once playfully sexy and serious, the story is an exquisite pleasure to read.
  • The Hardest Word on Dec. 06, 2012

    I admit it wasn’t until the end of the story that I fully appreciated the import of the title, which places the action in the context of a morality play. To that point, possibly quite contrary to the author’s intention, I felt more sympathy for the banker than his abductors. Even in the face of physical danger, this particular banker refuses to accept the simplistic contention that it was the bankers alone who screwed up, sending the world economy to the brink of collapse; in fact he does a quite adequate, if not admirable, job of defending his position. I would add that he might have asked his accusers why they did not also wish to indict the politicians who, in this country at least, forced the banks to give mortgages to persons having no reasonable expectation of ever being able to repay them; meanwhile, supposedly savvy investors carelessly flipped house after ever costlier house, riding an unsustainable manic debt escalator that somehow was supposed to end up making them all rich and richer. (The unstated irony—if one wishes to call it that—brought to the fore by the story is that no sooner have we begun to recover from being driven over one fiscal cliff than certain members of our political class appear all-too-eager and even determined to push us over another.) Of course, the bankers were all-too-happy to make those questionable loans—because they could bundle them together and pass them off on unwary or oblivious investors all-too-willing to buy them up—as long as they continued to provide a healthy return. In truth, there was more than enough greed and incompetence to go around and it seems to me unfair to single out and vilify any one group in particular for the subsequent inflation and inevitable bursting of this real-estate and equity market bubble. And yet, however sympathetic I may initially have been to the banker’s point of view, his attitude at the end is entirely intolerable, making me want to reexamine all of my prior assumptions.
  • Red Hotel On The Strand on Jan. 16, 2013

    The subject of this intriguing and entertaining short read ('An affair of the mind' which seems potentially quite a little more than just that!) could easily be expanded into a full-length novel or novella. I confess to not knowing exactly what is going on, but also to wishing I could continue reading and know more.
  • Stories for Airports on Feb. 02, 2013

    Every one of these stories is a beautiful gem.
  • The Winds of Astrodon on Feb. 03, 2013

    Employing subject matter that in lesser hands would amount to little more than pure exploitation, Mr Renner opens a window into a parent's worst nightmare, allowing us to not only empathize but also struggle along with the protagonist to make meaning out of something intrinsically senseless. (Non-spoiler alert: The ending is uplifting and brilliant!)
  • Unbalanced on Feb. 17, 2013

    A very intense, yet extremely engaging read. I enjoyed the interior monologues wherein Dr. Willow remembers the experiences of his younger self. The parallels with Jaxsie Duerile's exploration of her own past are not only interesting but every bit as explicative as hers. I especially enjoyed the part begining, "She was so unlike him. Her experiences were so different from his own. Yet, for all the apparent differences there was something, a very disquieting something, that linked them." The long discourse on the family clambake that follows is as good a piece of writing as I've ever encountered. This is an excellent novel, and except for the few minor errors in editing, it would be exceptional, deserving six stars. Yet even as it is, five stars seems at least one half star too few.
  • Embers on March 05, 2013

    Except for “Bad Baby”, (a masterfully told Kafkaesque tale,) and a few that follow, these early works by the author seem to be not so much full-fledged stories as extended —or, conversely, attenuated— narrative conjectures and conceits. You often find this sort of thing in literary magazines, and a little goes a long way. I confess to not really caring for, or about, many of the characters thus portrayed—in some cases they were themselves too insubstantial (or, at least in one instance, incorporeal) to provide the needed weighty antithesis to an oh-so-clever yet too airy narrative; in other instances, as in the abecederios, the characters seemed compelling enough but also entirely undeveloped, inasmuch as their stories are —regrettably— left largely untold. Even so, what is done here is done deftly, with wry verve and grace. Taken in small measures, the reading is a delight to partake. But it is mostly bittersweet dessert, not dinner. Still, all in all, this writer's undeniable talent is always very much in evidence and deserving of five stars.
  • The Pick Up on April 22, 2013

    This story starts out as a fairly straightforward account of an incident that seems out of Kafka, and only gets worse via a plot development that - though entirely plausibe given the world we live in - I admit to not seeing coming. Anyone who has ever been falsely accused will empathize, while the rest would do well to remember there are always two sides to any telling and seldom is anything entirely as it appears.
  • The Inelegant Universe on May 16, 2014

    "Inelegant Universe" it may well be, though Mr. Hibbard presents it in stories that are elegant and carefully crafted. A joy to read.