(design by Jeroen ten Berge)


From Robert Swartwood, the editor of the critically acclaimed Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, comes a collection of twenty-six very short stories, ranging from the real to the surreal.

Phantom Energy is 11,000 words long.

Purchase the e-book:

Purchase the paperback:

  • Amazon
  • For a signed personalized copy, email robert (at) robertswartwood (dot) com for details

Praise & Reviews:

“The zip fictions of Robert Swartwood’s gorgeous Phantom Energy are as much about silent spaces as the inky depths of text, cluttered as they are with the disturbing exhaust of endless afterthought. These are overly animated pixels, antic antics, hyper-real really real reality on the sly sent reeling into the intimate spaces between the blanking stars.”

— Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter 

“I must say, I love this book. Swartwood’s short stories are quirky but they’re really fucking good. The title story, in particular, is just amazing. Buy this book. For real.”

— Roxane Gay, author of Ayiti

“The stories in Phantom Energy might look like little windows onto characters trapped in strange other worlds; but read on, and you’ll find something magical happens — they turn to mirrors, and there’s you behind the glass.”

— Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day


Table of Contents: 


Phantom Energy
Point of View
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
The Cigarette Tree
Tramp Stamp
The Perfect Scene
Fright X
Seven Items in Jason Reynolds’ Pocket, Two Days After His Suicide, As Found by his Eight-Year-Old Brother, Grady


Corrections & Clarifications
Lea & Perrins
Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning To Work
10 Items or Less
Before the Lungs
Terms and Conditions


Between the Keys
Superman’s Dead
The Dry Patch
Chameleon Kid
The Lonely Life of a Tertiary Character
Crash Test Dummy
The Amazing Adventures of © and ®
The Killer Inside ©