I like a lot about this story: the pacing, the order and layering of new information, the economy of that information and how it’s conveyed, the lightly experimental use of evolving ad copy to punctuate and modulate that story (and, in the case of the audio, the sound engineering around that to differentiate these asides from the main narrative flow). It’s worth a half-hour of your time.
This is a “frog boil” story, and may in fact be the perfect frog boil story. If you’re woke-ish, then it is pretty clearly a climate change story. But if you’re on the political right, it may actually seem to much more obviously be an immigration story. It could be a cautionary tale about the dangers of group think (although its up to the reader to determine of its more about anti-mask group think, QAnon group think, CRT group think) or privilege or income disparity.
However you read it, the message is the same: It’s a warning against repeating the same old prayer that humans have repeated prior to disaster for Millenia:
I guess it’s happening, but let it happen in some other neighborhood in some other town far away, above someone else’s roof and out of my sight.
Anywhere but here.
Also, absolutely terrific monster-of-the-week. So worth your ears and eyes: PseudoPod 819: “Balloon Season” by by Thomas Ha
Been casting around for a short-n-sweet Halloween read? The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine has just released their audiobook of my story “The Slender Men”—free download awaits!
(here’s a direct download of the MP3, if you prefer)
Rish Outfield—who produced this audio—was also the voice actor for the last story I sold to PseudoPod, “Whatever Comes After Calcutta.” I love what Rish does for horror stories; it’s just so spot on. This is basically as close as you can expect to get to what I hear in my head when I revisit “The Slender Men.”
These stories have nothing in particular to do with each other, apart from the fact that each speaks to a fundamental, existential truth. If you ever find yourself wondering, “Jeez! Why can’t these guys just admit to how totally off-the-rails this situation has gotten?”—well, here are three answers that are really one answer: Some truths entirely annihilate you.