Thursday, August 11, 2005

A cool Link

posted by Todd T @ 9:37 AM

I have not been able to stop chuckling over this bit in Kelly Link's story "Magic for Beginners" in the September 2005 issue of F&SF: a teenager wears a t-shirt that says "I'm so goth I shit tiny vampires".

If she were my friend, I would have to have a shirt made that said: "Yeah, well I'm so goth that tiny vampires shit me."

It's a nice little story, about a group of teens whose life revolves around a TV show, their parents' quirks, and their own quest for the secret key to life. The TV show appears unannounced on unpredictable channels and times, and no one will admit to producing it or acting in it, so in the teen mind it takes on a certain reality, though it is wildly fantastic. Towards the end, Link obliquely asks the reader to consider for a moment - almost like a commercial break in the story - how much of life we watch, and occasionally dress up like the characters, but do not act as though it is all real. At least, that's what I heard her ask. The tale is told in a focused third-person voice that convincingly mimics a teen's thoughts and yet conveys a knowing nod to the reader as well. Perhaps not her most socks-off-knocking story, but well done.


At 8:39 PM, Blogger Tim Walters said...

I loved Stranger Things Happen (now available for free online!). Magic For Beginners is definitely on the list for my next Borderlands run.

Looks like Small Beer Press has been releasing a whole bunch of titles while I wasn't looking. Have you ever read Maureen McHugh? I seem to remember China Mountain Zhang being well spoken of, but never checked it out.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Todd T said...

I haven't read any McHugh. IIRC she is one of those who writes very slowly but when she does publish, it's good.


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