The stories in The Soul as Strange Attractor are described by one reader as “literary fiction edged with magic realism elements,” in which, “early stories play out in the background and wings of later,” ones. As the characters speak, their intent is the truth. They take themselves seriously. We need not, but if we share their sincerity, something cardinal may arise, like gravity waves from the edgeless outermost.

The stories occur in the decades after WW II. The characters reside in Mudgap, a village in the Sierra Fangoso Mountains, west of Las Cruces, founded on gold fever and sustained by tourists and government. They have typical interests: blood on the White Sands, the Vietnam war, Dr. Reich’s Orgone Accumulator, Buddy Bolden’s lost recordings, space aliens, the true meaning of Christmas, the Crown of Aleppo, childhood pranks, the mystery of reality, the tedium of infidelity, tall tales, taller tales, ghosts, and, of course, coming of age. Time is a silent character, miming and mugging his way through the scenes, not in the background, but largely unnoticed.

Readers who doubt the existence of places not found on a map might consider: neither maps nor dictionaries were passed out with the Ten Commandments. The Soul as Strange Attractor doesn’t pretend otherwise.


Gregory S Trachta is a long time resident of Mudgap, New Mexico. The locals know him by another name but they accept his affectations and are even good-natured about his indiscretions with their privacy, although a few are oppugnant to his meddling and hostile to perceived corruptions of their stories. “That’s not the way it happened at all,” is sometimes asserted. Still, they tolerate him, and, most days, he can be seen poking around the area, looking for a good anecdote.

 Prior to taking up residence in Mudgap, he was a frequent visitor from the various locations his research in theoretical pragmatism took him: California, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and so on and so on. He can be seen in the nearby picture, heading confidently into, one supposes, the future.

He is currently working on a second collection of short stories and finishing a book (years in the making) of the Sierra Fangosos region, notionally titled, for now, "Montana Estatua" (with a tilde over the "n").
He is shown above (counter clockwise from the top) studying music, with his brother, preparing for battle, hunting glaciers, in a former life, photographing his thumb, and (in the center) heading out.

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Goodbye For Now

Goodbye For Now
Ever wonder what the Vietnam War was all about? So does Lydia. Every day. It’s a puzzle unsolved, but she muddles through in her coiling story, “Goodbye for Now,” collected in, “The Soul as Strange Attractor.”