Total Oblivion

"A fast-paced, suspenseful dystopian picaresque, part Huck Finn and part bizarro-world Swiss Family Robinson..."



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Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Wiscon 30 report

+Is it really that strange? It is-that a little more than a week ago we were all karaokeing to Alice’s “Symphony of Destruction” or Elad’s “Take Me Out” or Meghan’s “Beautiful” or about another 90 songs which could have lasted, once we cut the queue off, pretty much till 3am. And it’s equally strange that a little less than a week ago was Kristin getting revved up on a chocolate martini and I was on that whiskey sour kick still and everyone was pretty much Insane Considering It Was a Thursday Night at Wiscon(tm). The weird thing is-this week after Wiscon has moved fast for me. I’ve barely had time to breathe, mostly due to work. But Wiscon actually moved slow. From Thursday to Monday was very deep time; not in the sense of “whoa, deep” (though that too a lot of the time) but rather that the con was like a membraneous bubble in which days stretched. Each day seemed like (and was exhausting as) a week. And the question becomes, what do you do during all of that time? There are going to be people you’re going to miss and near-miss, but things sort themselves out at, say, the next Wiscon, well enough. What you do is: read stories with writers who you admire more than words can say; attend readings by writers who you feel the same about; dance goofy and crazy (as I’m sure photos will attest); watch X3 with people who know more about comics than you do and who know who Arclight is; watch with utter admiration your wife become one of the backbones of one of the best cons on the planet; put out a chapbook with friends, and see the writers therein seize the proverbial bull by the horns; sign your book; see people at the coffeeshop read your book and be a little freaked out in a good way about it; feel the book as part of a conversation, however small (the book, not the conversation) about what writing means, and being a man or woman means, and what science fiction means; bend closer to the quiet ipod speakers at the quiet, secret dance party that was part of a Sunday night that had more energy than it had any right to have; try to stay awake while driving home, and then the conversation and wind down kicks in, and you’re awake (ok, the two DoubleShots helped) and feel that membrane of time dissolving. But it’s still there, in tendril form, connecting people all around the country! And this metaphor is kind of sf’nal in of itself, but maybe that’s the point!

Fri, June 2 2006 » Life Studies

3 Responses

  1. elad June 2 2006 @ 6:32 pm


  2. Haddayr June 2 2006 @ 8:58 pm

    brilliant and perfect description of the con.

  3. Dave Schwartz June 4 2006 @ 3:07 pm

    I was going to say “word”!

    Guess I’ll have to settle for “well put.”

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