Hamline News

Release of Boondoggle by Mark Rapacz (MFA ‘08)


Boondoggle by Mark Rapacz
Published by 280 Steps
Release: September 20, 2016
Novel, 238 pages

Order the book: Paperback and eBook
Author Site: markrapacz.com



A tale of murder, conspiracy, heroics, and mosquito eradication for fans of Fargo, The Big Lebowski and The 39 Steps.

Young women keep showing up dead in the swamplands area of Oslo, Minnesota and nobody seems to care—except for Mack Harrison and his crew-mates working as mosquito eradicators; aspiring hit man Jerry, stoner burnout Smokey, absent-minded Sid, and yoga-practicing foreman Lorne. The more the bodies pile up the more they start to think they should do something about it. Maybe. This is just how things are in Oslo. Dead girls in swamps are like the rising sun.

Still, Mack seems to be the only guy bothered by it all, but he’s new to the crew—recently moved from Chicago—and those big town ideals don’t always mesh well with Oslo values because there’s plenty he just doesn’t understand. Mack and the crew are pretty sure they know who or what is behind these deaths. They have theories. Could be Sheriff John. Could be the new med-tech giant MedSci. Could be Metro Area Vector Control itself—Mack and the crew do have the midnight task of disposing of these bodies.

Someday, they might put theory to action, but they are getting a pretty good paycheck for not doing much of anything. So, not a big deal, really.


PRAISE for mark's work

Rapacz’s writing recalls Lovecraft, with plenty of visceral horror and demonic creatures. His work has an immediate and gripping rawness, blended with dry wit; both are refreshing in the horror genre.
—BookLife, City Kaiju

… Sit down, and read a kick-ass thriller…. Foreigners is good shit.
—Scrivener Soapbox, Foreigners 

While there are parts of it that are funny—in a nervous, laugh at the gallows sort of way—it is mostly as serious as a knife in the gut. Mark is a writer who I have admired for many years and whose diverse work I always enjoy. Foreigners is an unsettling but satisfying read, well worth your time.
—The Oldest Jokes in the World, Foreigners

A brand new Russian fairytale! Like a stolen chapter out of War and Peace!
Magnus E. Magpie (Corvidae Interview), "Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird" 

The magazine-sized Buffalo Bill is part of Rapacz’s impressive Pulp Curios package, a collection of handsomely printed novellas and magazines. … Rapacz keeps a careful handle on the dialogue, never slipping into the over-apostrophied renditions of bad Western slang.
—Hazel & Wren, Buffalo Bill

Tongue-Cut Ninja has the whole package: narrative-control, character development, evocative language, a propulsive plot, and deep thematic concerns. (And totally radical ninja action!) Truly a work of literary fan fiction.
—Slash Serial, Tongue-Cut Ninja


About the author

Mark Rapacz is the author of three novels and three novellas; his stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Plots with Guns, Revolver, Thuglit, Dark Corners, Pulp Modern, Water-Stone Review, East Bay Review, Hawai'i Review, and Martian Lit. His novel, City Kaiju, won a 2014 Golden Goodis for best work of science fiction and his short story “Bellweather” was chosen for the 2012 edition of Dave Egger’s Best American Nonrequired Reading

He and his wife live in Minneapolis where he continues to write stories.


read more

“Humans of Scandi Whov,” illustrated fiction at East Bay Review, Part I & Part II 

"On Blood and Rustat Plots with Guns

"Harrier" at Revolver

An interview between Mark and Gabino Iglesias at Bizzaro Central 

Be sure to check out Mark’s website for even more links to his short stories and interviews!

Mark on Facebook

Twitter: @mark_rapacz