It’s a send-up of cooking shows. A snarky bit of horror, written with a certain ambiguity to allow several interpretations.
Check it out, if you get a chance.
Good news this morning. John Joseph Adams has purchased my short story, Snapshots I Brought Back from the Black Hole, for a June 2011 publication at Lightspeed magazine.
It’s my fourth pro-rates sale.
Snapshots was my “seventh” Clarion West story. It’s about humanity’s first voyage to explore a black hole, 1,600 light years from Earth. It’s narrator is an Artificial Intelligence named Mikhail, the communications officer of Interstellar Vessel Albert Einstein.
I had hoped to have the story done for week six critiquing at CW, but just flat ran out of time, so I substituted Gossamer Yellow, a ghost story.
Thanks, John. I can hardly wait!
The author wove a subtle puzzle within this finely crafted tale. The mystery of the old woman fades then returns later into the story. Tate is successfully cast as a loner who is destined to live in misery, even when opportunities for a comfortable and content life are presented to her.
The villagers of Providence have done as well as a community weathering a global collapse can do. Outsiders are trouble and are dealt with harshly but those asking for help are never turned away. Tate finds friendship and love in the village but Jolene’s voice from the past warns Tate to not get used to it.
The story is well done but a downer. I liked it but it left me bummed out in the end.
One-hundred-sixty-one words from the opening of Apple Jack, a work in progress, first draft complete.
The land rose, the forest fell away, until nothing stood before Jack but a tall, doubled file of birch.
He reached the hill’s crest on his belly. His age-gnarled fingers settled on a large, half-buried stone. He eased his chin onto his knuckles, peered through the high grass between the white trees. The dark scent of loam pressed at his nostrils, almost as solid as the cool, rounded surface of the stone beneath his hand.
Beyond his nose, the land fell away again into a hollow. At its center a woman lay staked to the ground, her skirts hiked to her waist. Two men loomed over her. One, tall and run to fat. The other, short and skinny, all chin and Adam’s apple.
The tidy scene lacked nothing but its caption. “Maiden Prays for Last-Minute Rescue.”
The woman screamed again.
Jack nodded. If they wanted to put on a show, he recognized his role. “All right,” he said. “Here I come.”