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Where to find Hugo

The Buy a Copy page provides links for purchasing HugoSF in e-book and also paperback.

You can also contact me directly for questions, signed copies, book club info, etc...


Characters and Excerpts

Truth may reign supreme in HugoSF, but it's the characters who really stand out.


The core players

Hugo Storm
Our unreliable narrator

"If I had to sum up the kind of guy I think I am, it's this: Jersey girls fantasize about falling in love with lifeguards down at the seashore but by the time summer ends they end up with guys like me."

Hugo's best friend, co-worker and mother figure

"This much I know: change comes with an awakening. From a willingness to learn. And what I've learned over the years is that we all have our dark places—our brusque fathers, absent mothers, contrived appearances, less than healthy relationships…whatever the affliction. Like Stuart; like Hugo; like me, there are countless people who build their lives dreaming away or trying to avoid these dark places. We find it hard to let go of their tug of familiarity. We claim they don't have any influence. We tell ourselves stories, believe whatever it is we want to believe, each one of us denying and defying, wandering along in search of some secret bliss."

Their 40-ish mentor

"'Did you enjoy yourself?' Angela asked as we headed north in a cab up the hills of Franklin Street towards home.

'Not much,' I replied.

'What do you think of Stuart?'

What did I think of Stuart?

'What do I think of Stuart?' I repeated.

I didn't know how to respond. Here was a man whose life would intersect mine like arrows over the coming years. A man who clearly had his shit together, didn't care what other people thought, probably could have bought and sold my family for three generations forwards and back. How was I supposed to know what I should think? All I knew was that I could sense something different about the man. I felt a blind commiseration between us, an almost paternal bond. It was otherworldly and strange: I'd barely spent an hour in his presence but I felt like I'd known him for years."

Hugo's girlfriend

"With our conflicting schedules we didn't see much of each other, which, in retrospect, was probably the secret behind our limited success as a couple. Things with Emily were fine. She had her freedoms and her refusal to commit, and she wore these things on a string around her neck like amulets. She harbored her allure in the folds of the long gypsy dresses and the loose gauzy pants she wore; it lept into the wind as she strode the grimy streets of the Lower Haight, alighting from the tips of her wavy hair as she lured inexperienced men like me who were hypnotized by her motion. The woven belt around her waist kept us tethered together gently, and although it felt as if the connection could erode into dust in an instant, the tenuousness felt less like a peril and more like a loose bond of safety.

With Emily, things simply were. And that was good enough."


Hugo's family

Dwight Storm
Hugo's father

"He seldom wanted to talk about that period in our life. We never really shared anything more than snippets of conversation when it came to the topic of my Ma. Very little seemed the greatest amount of energy my Daddy could devote to discussing her. After he sold the farm and we moved to Millville he promised me that we were starting over, as if from scratch. We weren't forgetting my mother, he said, but we couldn't be tied to her loss any longer if we were going to make something for ourselves. 'So,' he had announced in a ceremonious voice as we stood in the kitchen of the new house in Millville surrounded by boxes, open space, unfamiliarity and freshly laid kitchen tile, 'Darryl Hugo Storm is heretofore known as Hugo Storm.' Just like that (erroneous word choice aside) the past was severed."

Aunt Alice
Hugo's great-aunt; the woman who raised him

"I stayed turned around in my seat staring at Alice. She stared me back in the eye and then winked, then turned to look out the window. She sat there bouncing in her seat, jostled by the bad springs of the truck, helpless as the clouds. She looked happy and sad at the same time, her lifelong suppression simmering as it always did beneath a face that rarely revealed much. Alice was mother, grandmother and aunt all rolled into one. I looked at her and focused on the adventure of things, trying hard to avoid the difficult feeling of leaving her. Didn't matter, I tried to tell myself; she and Daddy were bedrock. There was no need worrying about them; they'd always be around.

'What are your thoughts, ma'am?' I hollered through the wind at Alice.

She looked back at me and gave a sort of smile: 'I'm thinking you're gonna survive just fine in California, boy.'"

Dwight's 2nd wife, Stuart's stepmother

"At some point Polly came into the slow-moving picture of my Daddy's life and insinuated herself into our Christmas ritual. With her around there was a lot of church-going in the weeks leading up to the holiday and a lot of thanking Jesus at nearly every gathering and at every meal. It got so much that Alice started listening to public radio in the kitchen in order to have a polite way out whenever Polly started in on her Jesus stuff: 'Sh-h,' she'd tell the strange Floridian, then point to the radio on top of the fridge, 'I wanna hear this interview.'"

Dwight & Polly's daughter; Hugo's stepsister

"Little baby Josefina de JesuCristo; Mahatma Gandhi in cross-stitch plaid; Buddha Child in teeny braids—whatever she was—greeted my sleepy visage at the front door early the next morning. 'Hey Trish,' I said, holding my hand out. She feigned terror, shrieked and ran to the protection of her mother."



All of us play a secondary role somewhere, to somebody. But that doesn't mean we aren't important creatures. So too Hugo's secondaries.

Hugo & Angela's boss

"Celia lived in an elegant upstairs flat in a wood-shingled, two-unit building she had recently bought in Presidio Heights. The house represented a portion of the gains of her most recent business transaction, the selling of to the growing monolith of goFORTH. In one deft and seemingly transparent move she had lured the giant to her bedroom door, gently parted the folds of the handsome kimono she wore to disguise herself, and then seduced the giant into bestowing upon her large amounts of cash and unrestricted stock in exchange for the contents of her dominion."

Angela's girlfriend

"As disinclined as Tamara was to taking time off—she preferred to work through her pains, as if that would erase them—she went to Bodega with Angela because she knew it was the right thing to do. She recognized the patterns of her own behavior, knew that when it came to herself and her needs and her feelings, when she claimed she was dealing with something she was more often than not actually avoiding it, stirring motion and distraction around her like the storm of water swirling around the outcropping of rocks she sat staring at in the sea beyond the window."

A migrant worker from Hermosillo

"There were two young men sitting on the edge of a pickup truck bed smoking cigarettes when Stuart pulled into the gravel parking lot that night. As Stuart locked his car, the boy on the right said to his friend in a loud voice obviously intended for Stuart's ear, 'Ay guapissimo.' He whistled lasciviously and called out, '!Hola papí! ¿Tiene amigo?'

'No chico, estoy solo,' Stuart told them as he approached their truck.

The one who was doing the talking hopped down from the edge of the truck and flicked his cigarette onto the gravel. 'Perfecto.' He was the older of the two, lankier, and his face brimmed with sexual loneliness and desire. 'Es happy hour—dos por uno.' He put a slender arm around Stuart's waist. 'Two for one, papichulo.'"

The information architect

"'Now,' Geoffrey professed, 'the internet is a strange attractor, Hugo the Hurricane. A strange attractor is a place of return or of focus, a locus shifting in all its facets and dimensions as chaotic systems whirl around it. I myself am a strange attractor: strange in that I don't abide by the standard rules of physics, an attractor in that I attract. Yet I am neither stationary nor random. I am a beacon of stability and persistence and the forces surrounding me can not help but be drawn in by my mathematical appeal.' With a flourishing wave of the hand he added, 'I meld with the arrow of time.'"