I've always enjoyed the stories I've heard by Will McIntosh. They tend to be filled with great ideas about dim futures as well as characters that feel fully human. I just started my first novel by him, Hitchers. A few pages in and there was the dead sister.
Last night I was sitting with my husband at a mediocre, but expensive, dinner. Nothing is tasting that good and we are a little out of conversation. The group of young women next to us were good eavesdropping fodder. They were talking about MOVE and a recent documentary about the Africas. I turn them and quote Adam & His Package: "We only bombed our own city once, one time."
And, because the world is small, it turns out that we went to the same high school. I was even in her sister's class. And, because the world is unfeeling, she was in my brother's class. Her face froze when I said his name.
I am enjoying Hitchers, despite the fact that everybody starts dying. Books rarely get the paralysis survivors feel after any kind of sudden death, and this book is not exactly an exception. The narrator has other things on his mind, for sure, and it is hard to sustain a first-person account of sobbing, staring, and sleeping for too long. This is a fun book, despite it all.
I think about grieving without anthrax attacks and possible demon possession and read: "It wasn't fair. I'd already suffered my losses."
"I sat next to him in history class. He was a riot."
How could a woman so old have known my brother? She looked like a grown up.
Cue the single bare bulb, sparking, then fading.
Sure, it was "nice" to meet someone who could put together a few recognizable sketches of my brother over dinner. Sure, it was.
"He definitely was a riot."