If you’ve attended his readings, you know Matthew Simmons is one of Seattle’s best short-story writers. Problem is, his published output has been slim—just one excellent novella and a tiny chapbook of stories about one-man death metal bands—but today that all changes with the publication of a collection titled Happy Rock. Any chance to hear Simmons read his own funny, intelligent stories about awkward lonely people and the roadside attractions they love is cause for celebration, so this launch party for Happy Rock ought to be a goddamned citywide holiday. (Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, hugohouse.org, 7 pm, free)

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