New Release: The Sea Lanterns by Ben Nickol


Congratulations to Ben Nickol and Vine Leaves Press on the release of The Sea Lanterns, a novel in which future may mean not banishing ghosts, but living forever in their company.

“A wickedly funny examination of college sports, colliding egos, and the often inadvisable ways we go about the pursuit of our dreams.” ~Margaret Malone, author of People Like You

The Sea Lanterns by Ben Nickol

NEW RELEASE: March 21, 2023
From $5.99  

Marooned at a backwater college and hungry for more, Athletic Director Scott Darrow plots his ascent to a better job at a better school.

He has the talent, charm, and Machiavellian nerve to go far, but when he hires a famous coach to run his basketball program, the coach proves to be unstable and possibly insane.

To escape professional oblivion, Darrow must maneuver and manipulate this coach, and manage the town’s intensifying suspicions. No measure is too drastic. No tactic too cruel. But complicating Darrow’s work is his own unsettled history, and in wrestling with this history, Darrow begins to understand his frail coach with jarring personal clarity.

Perhaps the two men aren’t as dissimilar as they’d seemed. And perhaps Darrow’s future—even if it’s triumphant—will mean not banishing his ghosts, but living forever in their company.
Praise for The Sea Lanterns
“A poignant and uncompromising novel with gritty and luminous prose. Nickol demands the reader’s attention on every page as he explores the price of ambition at all costs.” ~Soon Wiley, When We Fell Apart

“Who knew a book about a mediocre JuCo basketball team in a gloomy Pacific Northwest town could be such a delight with so much heart.” ~Margaret Malone, People Like You

About the Author
Ben Nickol’s books include The Sea Lanterns and Sun River: Stories, which was named a Quivering Pen Best Book of 2019. His stories and essays have also appeared widely in venues such as Alaska Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, CutBank, and elsewhere. Originally from Idaho, he returned to the Northwest in 2021 after teaching for several years in the M.F.A. program at Wichita State University. To learn more, visit
About the Publisher
Vine Leaves Press likes to blur the line between commercial and experimental works. They publish book-length vignette collections, writing reference books, short story collections, memoir/autobiography, and character-driven novels with a literary bent.​ Subscribe to the Vine Leaves Press newsletter to receive FREE advanced review copies of upcoming new releases, news about their authors and subscribers, and/or to read the monthly opinion column, SPILL IT! or a daily dose of 50-word stories. Learn more at

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