I met this guy on a date – let’s call him Roy, because his name was actually Roy – in the dead of a Chicago winter. We’d gone out twice before. This time was different, though, because the meeting was indoors.
I scooted into the booth. We each ordered a beer.
Then, from my seated position, I shrugged out of my coat.
“Whoa!” Roy shouted. (more…)
Before I sit, Josh Larson is careful to make one thing clear: “This is a game about Ryan and his wife’s four-year-old son, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer two and a half years ago,” he explains. And then this: “He’s still alive.” (more…)
Exactly six years ago I bought a Nintendo Wii – came home from Toys “R” Us, plugged it in. (The box is still there on the floor of my girlhood bedroom, right where I left it in another November.)
“Can you imagine, Al?” my mother asked my father. “In our lifetime?” She was standing around marveling as I – ahem – went bowling.
Then I saw the Wii’s “pacemaker” warning and now I was pushing my adoptive dad out of the room. “Out, out!” I commanded him. I was not going to be the one to murder my father, thank you. (more…)
I keep having this weird dream.
I’m on a rocket ship in outer space. Sometimes I’m strapped into a seat, but often I’m in free-fall. Often there are other people on the rocket ship, but sometimes I’m alone.
Sometimes the rocket ship isn’t floating through space. Sometimes, instead, it’s on fire and trembling – it is reentering Earth’s atmosphere, presumably because of a mechanical failure. Sometimes it isn’t a rocket ship at all: sometimes it is an airplane that is crashing. A few times I’ve found myself inside a flooded submarine. (more…)
When I was a teenager in Cambridge, I wanted to buy a British book. What I ended up with was 253, written by an American called Geoff Ryman.
253 contains 253 vignettes about 252 passengers on the London tube train, most of whom are connected in some way (the 253rd person is the train’s driver). The book describes the moments before a train crash. (more…)
“It wasn’t any of my business. So I pushed [the door] open and looked in.”
- Farewell, My Lovely
There’s a reason that Jason Schwartzman’s writer character in Bored To Death is reading Farewell, My Lovely when he decides to become a private detective. Since I’ve started writing for money, I have come to identify much more with Raymond Chandler’s enigmatic gumshoe, Phillip Marlowe. Or rather, that I have started to wish I could be him. In my mind, Marlowe is not only a detective, but a freelance writer for hire, someone who investigates stories for a living. And of course, that is what Raymond Chandler is doing: he is using Marlowe to explore a mythical, violent LA – and Chandler commits it to paper. (more…)
Editor’s Note: This post originally contained a screen-grab of the repellent game Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian. We have since removed the disturbing image, and we apologize for not alerting our readers to graphic content in advance.
I raised my hand. Professor Wiman nodded at me.
“I can’t stand female poets,” I said loudly, “because they constantly write about women’s issues instead of normal things.”
My words hung heavy in the air. Wiman blinked and moved on, and I slowly realized I’d said something strange. (more…)