Monthly Archives: January 2006

Mary Michael Wagner, "The Last Girl on Earth"

After arguing with her boyfriend, she takes a ride from a stranger.

(from Story Quarterly #41)

Uh, sure hope he doesn’t turn out to be a bad guy. Uh-oh, he is. Sure hope he’s got a little bit too much humanity to go through with his evil, opportunitist plans. Whew, he does. The surprise ending here was there wasn’t much of a surprise ending. But the suspense was fairly intense.
Here’s an I Read A Short Story Today Public Service Announcement: Not every stranger who offers you a ride wants to do you harm. I recently accepted a two mile lift to a train station in an unfamiliar town, and totally didn’t have to jump from a moving vehicle. That said, I won’t likely do it again because I can do without that kind of excitement. It was pretty stupid. I had my hand on the door handle the whole time. Anyway, thanks for the lift, man.

Portishead, “Strangers”

Miranda July, "The Shared Patio"

She likes the epileptic neighbor with whom she shares the back patio.

(from Zoetrope All-Story, Winter 2005)

He is in love with me but he doesn’t know it. It still counts even though it happened when he was unconscious. It counts doubly because the conscious mind often makes mistakes, falls for the wrong person. But down there in the well, where there is no light and only thousand-year-old water, a man has no reason to make mistakes.

Oh man, I love this story. You know why? Say it with me: Unreliable narrator! Yeah. I mean, I think she is telling the truth the whole time, the truth as she understands it, but her unreliability isn’t so much in her telling, it’s her doing. It’s like, uh, you’re not behaving as you should in important situations. You cannot be counted on. You’re weird and that’s wonderful that the author has chosen you as our storyteller.
Here‘s a link to the story so read it.
No I didn’t see Me You and Everyone We Know.
I was going to read a JT Leroy story, because of all the articles going around. I bought The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things from the Book Trader last week.
I even went so far as to download some Thistle music. Then I got bored of the whole mess.

Nicole Sonsini, "Myspace or Yours"

The web is a fine way to meet people, but do you want meet them for reals?

(from Philadelphia City Paper, Jan. 5, 2005)

I was in on the early stages of the judging for CP’s annual fiction contest — basically helping to remove the worst stories from contention — and this one struck me from the get-go as a remarkable, entertaining, sharp piece of action. The rules called for a max word count of 1,000 and the setting had to be Philly. These are restricting paramaters, but Sonsini made it look easy with a spritely pace and an authentic, detail-oriented feel. On top of that, it’s hip and insightful in a way that gets you where you want to be got. Earlier tonight I saw Sonsini, and the other contest winners, read their works. She nailed the reading, too.
Read it here.