I hereby declare the month of November 2011 to be Promote The Writing Of People I Have Actually Met And Talked To Month. More on that in this week’s celebrity six sentences.
But first, I must reveal the identity of Week 9’s CSS. Last week’s excerpt came from Heart-Shaped Box, the debut novel by Joe Hill. Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King). He writes under the name Hill, his mother’s maiden name, so as not to be accused of trading on his father’s fame (and probably also to avoid terrible Joe King/joking puns). I enjoyed Heart-Shaped Box, LURVED his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and fully cemented my literary crush on him at the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas earlier this year.
This week’s excerpt is from a 600 word flash fiction piece entitled Fairy Gothic that was first published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine in February 2010. The speculative element in the story does not become explicit until the final three sentences. These are not those sentences.
They’ve graduated to their own fairy dresses in this photo. You can tell they’ve dressed themselves. The velcro is fastened all crooked, they’ve got their favourite T shirts underneath the dresses, and their hair is all over the place. I probably made them put the T shirts on. Back then, they would have run around all day in their undies even in winter, like little urban savages, if I’d let them. This is probably my favourite shot.
The Scary Minds reviewer compared me to this writer in his review of Ghosts Can Bleed, saying that my writing is nothing like his. We do have some things in common, though – we’re both ex-pat Kiwis now living in Melbourne, we’re both members of SuperNOVA, we’ve both won Sir Julius Vogel Awards (I have one, lying broken in my wardrobe because there never seems to be enough time or Super Glue to fix it; I think he has a separate room for all of his) and we have both published short story collections. It was a tough job choosing six sentences of his to feature; by the time I’d discounted the ones containing profanities and explicit sexual references , there wasn’t much left. Compare and contrast, and decide whether or not Scary Minds was right on the money.
“Pry open the lips!”
I pinch her nose and her mouth pops open, strands of thickened saliva bridge raw, cracked lips. Her breath is damp and shallow.
Vogon quivers and moans. His form dissolves and he swarms over her body like a sea of black ants over jungle flesh, forcing his way into her mouth. Within seconds his amorphous mass has slid inside her, waiting.