August 15th, 2008

Short fiction report #4

Good morning. Have a report with your coffee and toasted bagel...

Short fiction report #4
Title: "Stuck"
Author: Jason Erik Lundberg, aka jlundberg 
Published in: Farrago's Wainscot, the July 2008 issue, Volume 2, um, Part VII: Echoes (at this point, I'm officially lost)
Length: about 2,300 words
Genre(s): fantasy
Plot summary, yadda yadda yadda: Peter Fierté, a professor teaching Modern Literature of the Fantastic, follows a young woman off the campus bus into Barnhardt Hall, and together they ride the elevator up to the English department. Her name is Mira Singh, and she smells like a little slice of heaven. He begins to daydream about the harems of the east, about inappropriate things. She's here for an interview. She's not wearing any perfume. That's when everything becomes clear, or rather, for Peter, a bit blurry.
Thoughts: Much like the previous reported George Mann's "The Nature of Blood," "Stuck" is a story of chance meetings. These happen all the time, whether we're aware of them or not, and the notion that something a bit more virile is at work behind these exchanges is always an interesting one. The Ramayana, one of the most important pieces of ancient Indian literature, probably plays a quiet part here, but I'm too clueless to pick up on it. Maybe I should have payed more attention in that World Lit class of mine way back when...

It's a quick story, very confined, but I liked that it flows as one big scene, and there never really was a point that I felt like Lundberg was feeding us exposition quickly in hopes that we got enough before the end hit. There was just enough detail to permit the mystery unfolding. Peter is the sort of bumbling yet sweet man that I can root for, and the repurcussions of his actions will surely haunt him for the remainder of his life. Heck, even I can't seem to get that final image of him and Mira in the elevator out of my head, the sound of her cackling echoing down and around the hallway until there is nothing left to hear.

Good stuff, written in a literary style and replete with fantastic, compelling imagery. I say, "Check it out."
Typos (cause I'm annoying like that and can never shut off my inner editor): Nada.
Score: 4 spicy tuna rolls out of 5

My folks are coming up to visit me tonight. Woo. That means dinner and treats! And since it is Friday, Panera's will be serving clam chowder. That's what I'm fucking talking about!

Home of the Dæmon Whopper

My favorite part, so far, of The Subtle Knife, is the mentioning of a Burger King.

Ah, fantasy. Way to ground me.

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