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Tag: podcasts

Flash fiction story: “The Chex Gambit”

“The Chex Gambit,” by Jon Lasser

Read for Toasted Cake 184, May 13th, 2018

Not sure how many words

Fun.

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Short story: “The State of Nature”

“The State of Nature,” by Camille Bordas

Appeared in the New Yorker, April 9th, 2018 (online here) and in the April 3rd episode of The Writer’s Voice

6,787 words

I like the way everyone’s fear of and preparations for the unthinkable—whether that’s societal collapse or rape—come together as a coherent theme. The revelation of the mother’s assault unfolds naturally, reasonably, though I couldn’t have predicted it. Perhaps that’s how all revelations should work in fiction.

Has anyone ever come running to the rescue at the sound of a rape whistle? Or been scared off by one? It does seem illogical.

 

Short story: “Carouseling”

“Carouseling,” by Rich Larson

Appeared in Clarkesworld, issue 139, April 2018 (read by Kate Baker on the podcast)

5,279 words

A fine heartstring-tugger.

Short story: “Sparg”

“Sparg,” by Brian Trent

Appeared in Daily Science Fiction in 2013; read by Alasdair Stuart for Escape Pod 614, February 8th, 2018

2,010 words, pretty close to my guess

Oh no.

What a good dog cephalopod critter.

Flash fiction story: “Everything Is Green”

“Everything Is Green,” by David Foster Wallace

Appeared in the collection Girl with Curious Hair, published by W. W. Norton & Company, 1989 (though Goodreads for some reason says November 1st, 1988); then in Harper’s (PDF), September 1989; read by George Carr for Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast; also read and discussed by the Austin Writing Workshop in 2015 in the podcast Saturday Show, episode #87

Less than 700 words, I’m told; less than a page in Harper’s

A thoughtful slice of life. Certainly not the kind of thing I usually expect from Wallace, but he’s a versatile writer.

Curious whether they’re arguing over an affair or perhaps (since Mayfly’s name, as pointed out in a comment here, suggests rapid reproduction) a pregnancy. It doesn’t seem to matter. That post I linked to posits that Mayfly’s name means she will be part of Mitch’s life only fleetingly—though I wonder if that name might instead suggest her youthful flightiness, her tendency to indulge in brief flings and fancies. That could be the source of the friction.

At the end, you can feel how Mitch loves her.

Edited to add: I wonder how authentic the voice is. I don’t know any trailer dwellers, but presumably Wallace knew some. In his essay “Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All,” he seemed contemptuous of a certain type of insulated white lower-class people—”trash,” as I think they’re popularly called—who wear T-shirts with unfunny, sometimes misspelled slogans and want a Republican in the White House. Here, though, you can see his compassionate interest in Mitch and hear the music in Mitch’s voice. I wonder if someone as urbane as Wallace putting on this kind of voice—this kind of life—is necessarily being a little patronizing, a little inauthentic.

Edited again to add: I notice the window is “her window” but the sofa lounger is “my sofa lounger.” Intimacy, the way their separate possessions mingle. But more than that, distance, since he’s separating those possessions in his mind; they’re not “our window” and “our sofa lounger.”

Regarding the Austin Writing Workshop discussion: I disagree that the narrator is inarticulate or sounds drugged. It seems to me he’s expressing almost exactly what he means to express (at least to the reader—he fails to get through to Mayfly) and his thinking is reasonably clear. I think these readers are being misled by the rough simplicity of the style, what they call “redneckese.” I also disagree that Mitch idolizes Mayfly; his attitude towards her feels realistic, though loving, and the ending feels bittersweet to me, tinged with the awareness of their incompatibility. I also disagree that the story is too simple.

Mitch shows an admirable, perhaps unusual emotional openness. Not what you would stereotypically expect from a man of his social class, or any man.

Short story: “Surveillance Fatigue”

“Surveillance Fatigue,” by Jennifer R. Donohue

Read by Diane Severson Mori for Escape Pod 623, April 12th, 2018

2,273 words

Troublingly believable. Great last line.

Novelette: “What Is Eve?”

“What Is Eve?”, by Will McIntosh

Appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, April 2018 (issue 95); read or listen to the podcast here

10,160 words

The mystery, the big reveal, and the ending were all delightfully satisfying. May Eve’s life only get better from here.

I feel like the title should have been just “Eve.”

Short story or perhaps fictional essay: “A Place Without Portals”

“A Place Without Portals,” by Adam-Troy Castro

Appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, April 2018 (issue 95); read or listen to the podcast here

2,160 words according to the magazine

I had no idea where this was going, but the ending was just right.

The essay/story could be taken as realistic fiction just as easily as fantasy.

Short story: “Strange Waters”

“Strange Waters,” by Samantha Mills

Appeared in Strange Horizons, April 2nd, 2018, and read for the podcast by editor Anaea Lay

6,183 words, according to the magazine

I teared up at the end. Great concept, well executed.

Short story: “Clap Your Hands”

“Clap Your Hands,” by Andrew F. Kooy

Appeared in issue 107 of Apex Magazine (online here April 3rd, 2018) and read very well on the podcast by Christopher Soren Kelly

3,300 words, according to the magazine

(Spoilers ahead.) A good story, if rather bleak. I didn’t get the ending at first—apparently it’s obvious to the stranger that there shouldn’t be any water here, and the hole was meant for a mass grave.