William T. Vollmann is an excellent writer known for publishing thick novels that get rave reviews from the sorts of people who have the time to read thick novels. (He’s also written some notable nonfiction works, including a seven-volume attempt at creating a workable moral calculus to be used in time of war.) But Vollmann’s 1993 collection Butterfly Stories featured some of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Vollmann is an honest-to-God literary genius who has been obscured by modern attention spans; hopefully his new collection, Last Stories and Other Stories, will attract new fans. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, elliottbaybook.com, 7 pm, free)