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Category: 3-Day Novel Entry

A Treacherous Man is on the 2022 3-Day Novel Shortlist

One of six finalists

Anvil Press has announced the long-list for the 2022 3-Day Novel Contest. My entry, A Treacherous Man, is a finalist!

The winner will be announced in June.

You can see all the finalists here and learn more about the contest.

A Treacherous Man synopsis

Raymond Stride believes he provides a noble service — renting sex dolls to lonely, shy, and curious people. He goes about his work as discreetly as possible, but it doesn’t come without unwanted attention. For instance, Vanessa Vandal is discomfited by Raymond’s business location, too close, she believes, to her micro-brewery. They do battle on social media and the arcane sub-committees of the city business licensing bureau. But of late, Vanessa’s righteous onslaught is the least of Raymond’s worries. One of his dolls, Mustang, has been kidnapped and held for reasons unknown. Another, Anastasia, well, as insane as it sounds, has mysteriously animated and she now roams the city attacking and sometimes killing men who have wronged women. And he’s been presented with a petition for better working conditions signed by Min, his most in-demand poppet. Given these events, Raymond is spiralling into paranoia. Are his dolls unionizing? Is he liable for Anastasia’s vengeful spree? Is Mustang getting enough to eat?

A Treacherous Man is novel of ill-manners: impolite, satirical, absurd, violent, and over the top. It is the story of a city and its media and government, businesses and law enforcement. It a melange of picaresque, detective, and gothic themes with a healthy dollop of pornography the erotic.


All material, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: jean louis mazieres on

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The Ravishing Corpse

A Prairie Anxiety


I was a writer who drank.

Then I was a drinker who wrote.

Now I’m a drunk who thinks about writing. 

The Book of Ethan says, “You have to mine your own life. It’s the only way you’re gonna stumble on anything real.” There’s a mama racoon resident in my dumpster brain. I met her under my veranda. She showed me her drained teats and protruding rib cage. Her name is Rhonda and we share what we find. Not all of it is fresh but we’ve raised two healthy litters.

All my procrastination is exhausting—trying to divine what needs to be told; weigh what I feel like telling. We can know it all. I should ask the salamander tattoo on my forearm for advice, but it has never said anything of use.

I want to fix this, to get all my edges neat and clean. Scrape away the ugliness. But it’s easier to derail the truth, limiting it to unintended switches to hoary branch lines or just some minor juddering on the rails. Then last night, confused and anxious, I hurled a locomotive and thirty cars of Saskatchewan potash into Little Llama daycare. An anatomically precise sexual abuse doll and a brace of hamsters were killed. 

It’s so late in the day. So late.

I’m a laggard, staring at the sun—a fading taunt on the horizon. I slouch in this comfortable chair—MacBook Pro burning my thighs a half pint of Buffalo Trace stretching my bladder—facing my limitations. A drunkard watching Mars chase the Moon.

The Moon floats to my triple-paned living room window and we have a whispered conversation while the tides of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea reverse and roar tsunamis toward the coasts of every country in Asia.




The Moon is shameless and unselfconscious of the acne craters, impact scars, and mountainous cysts that cover their face. They blackmail me with the lives of billions of people.

I piss myself. A relief. A prod.

This is a confession?

It comes too soon.

It’s a memoir. A plea for attention?

A speculation? A faux investigation, because I’m the culpable one?

Only I know it all. 

Soon, everyone will know. I’m not sure I have it all down or know what’s real or what’s imagined or manifested and for some of it I only know what I’ve been told. Some of it hasn’t happened and will not happen if I don’t follow the Moon’s injunction.

Maybe you’ve heard this all before, crickets chirping before a thunder boomer. Maybe it’s happened to you. Maybe I did it. Maybe I’m doing it right now. Maybe I did it tomorrow.

Call me a monster, a root-rich hank of your hair wound through my shaking fist.

Every action an effect lacking a clockwork cause.

But pretend it’s all new even if it’s not. It’s not hard, we only think we know. Everything is hindsight and time makes a hash of memory; it’s not a fundamental ticking nor a flashbulb moment, so only extrapolations and lies endure. 

So this is a confession.

It’s up to me; you won’t hear this from someone else.

Only from me.

From me.


Too goddamn late.

A previous version of this prologue is included in The Ravishing Corpse, which made the long list of the 2020 annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved.

Best paired with a soldier of Buffalo Trace in the backseat of an overheated Ford Escort

Reprint and reproduction rights for this story are available for purchase. Contact me for more information on Anthologies, Course Packs, Reading Comprehension Exams, Translations, and Dramatic Adaptations

Photo credit: Hannes Mauerer on

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The Ravishing Corpse on 2020 3-Day Novel Long-list

One of thirteen long-listed entries

This week Anvil Press announced the long-list for the 2020 3-Day Novel Contest.

There were over two hundred entries and my novel The Ravishing Corpse made the cut along with twelve other novels.

You can see the complete long-list here and learn what happens next.

The Ravishing Corpse synopsis:

Nikki only wants what’s best for Jason. She’s a domestic goddess. She earns. And she’s helping him finish a “true crime novel” based on a local unsolved murder. She’s sacrificed so much for Jason. But he’s killed her. He’s certain he did. But soon they’re living in a fieldstone house on the acreage where his grandfather murdered a man. In addition to adding new tricks to their already vigorous sex life, Nikki starts sending Jason on late-night “missions” to forewarn women who are soon to be killed by their partners, women who are indiscernible from Jason’s past lovers.

As Jason comes to grips with his romantic and sexual past, seeks out women in danger, and works to outwit the Vampires investigating Nikki’s murder, he discovers ex-dead Nikki has been enacting her own agenda for revenge.


All material, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved.

Photo credit:  dMadPhoto on VisualHunt

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This blog is written and produced on Turtle Island in Winnipeg, MB, on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Inuit, and Dene peoples, and is the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation. All material, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved. Header photo credit: darkday. on