Community Novel 2016 – Twisting Topeka

Twisting Topeka

Cover Design by Michael Perkins

We each experience and envision our own version of Topeka. In these stories, 18 writers twist the past and future to explore alternate possibilities for our community. These stories will make you question what you know about the past and frighten you about what the future could hold.

Read Twisting Topeka

  1. What Fate Ordains by Diana Marsh
    What if the Apollo moon landing ended differently?
  2. Native Son by Marian Rakestraw
    What if John Steuart Curry had stayed to finish his Capitol murals?
  3. The Printed Word by Miranda Ericsson Kendall
    What if the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library made the decision to go bookless in 2026?
  4. Tovarishch O’Sullivan by Craig Paschang
    What if the Soviets had won the cold war by winning the hearts and minds of the people of America’s heartland?
  5. Test Year by Jamie Crispin
    What if parallel worlds did exist?
  6. Proclaim the New Name by Duane L. Herrmann
    What if you had to travel to Chicago to gain inspiration for action in Topeka?
  7. Cleansing Waters by C.R. Kennedy
    What if a vivacious young woman showed compassion to a distraught stranger in the rock garden at Gage Park?
  8. As Mercy Would Have It by Annette Hope Billings
    What if the death of a little girl did not mean the end of her life?
  9. Underground Ark by Reaona Hemmingway
    What if a nuclear holocaust made the surface of Earth toxic, and a group of Kansans survived in a bunker underground?
  10. Shake, Rattle and Roll by Roxanna Namey
    What if the earth shook?
  11. Black Blizzard by Vernon Neff
    What if an extended drought turned a future Topeka into a perpetual twilight of dust and grit?
  12. A Library for Every Kid by S. R. Thompson
    What if there was a library on almost every corner in Topeka and it didn’t cost the people of Shawnee County one red cent?
  13. The Jesse Owens Effect by Ian Hall
    What if Alf Landon beat Teddy Roosevelt in the 1936 Presidential election?
  14. Happiness is a Cold Pistol by Paul Swearingen
    What if she had decided to shoot?
  15. Psychic Shift by Annabelle Corrick
    What if two errant children surprised a psychiatric patient into sanity?
  16. Tunnels by Leah Sewell
    What if the Topeka State Hospital was destroyed?
  17. Love and Friendship by Lissa Staley
    What if online public school was the only option for Kansas teens?
  18. Dance with the Devil by Aimee L. Gross
    What if the WW II headquarters of the OSS was actually Menninger Clinic, recruiting locals to catch an enemy spy ring in Topeka?

Download a free digital edition of Twisting Topeka from in your favorite format: epub, mobi (Kindle), or pdf.

Check out a print copy of Twisting Topeka from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

Purchase a print copy from the Friends of the Library Booktique for $5.

Order a print copy from