Check this out!!

B. Pladek’s DRYLAND included in the Washington Post’s roundup of Five great sci-fi and fantasy novels to read now!

Read the full roundup here:


As the Great War rages across Europe, Rand Brandt, an idealistic young forester in the northwoods of Wisconsin, discovers a remarkable gift: his touch can grow any plant in minutes. Overjoyed, he dreams of devoting his life to conservation, restoring to its former glory a landscape devastated by lumbering. At night, Rand tests his powers, pushing his physical limits and revealing his secret only to his lover, Gabriel. But his frequent absences from camp don’t go unnoticed, and it isn’t long before Rand is drafted to grow timber for the war effort. Along with Gabriel, he’s shipped to France—though the army is a dangerous place for two men in love. 

While at camp, Rand also realizes the true price of his gift: everything he grows withers and dies, leaving the soil empty of all living matter. Horrified, he throws himself into ever more self-destructive trials, buckling under the pressure of so many secrets. In order to survive, he must confront the terrifying possibility that his gift is actually a curse, upending everything he believes about nature, love, and himself.

B. Pladek is an associate professor of English at Marquette University in Milwaukee and a graduate of Clarion West 2018. His short fiction has appeared in Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Slate FutureTense Fiction, The Offing, and elsewhere. 

B. is represented by Brenna English-Loeb.