For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

Week n° 35: June 17, 2013

I remember being told boys are ‘different’ and that's why my brother didn't have to make his bed.

Author of the short story collections Daddy's and DON'T KISS ME (to be released this July).

@JoyceCarolOates tweeting this morning about theft of intellectual property:

Twitter has solved the problem of intellectual property theft by never considering it.  Or copyright. People tend not to be sympathetic with appropriation—i.e., theft—of “intellectual property” who would not allow theft of physical objects. If you create exquisite clay pots, & they are stolen, others would be sympathetic with your loss; if it's “writing”—“music”—sympathy fades.

Our recommendations this week

The Life and Work of Alphonse Kauders
Excerpt

Alphonse Kauders said: “I–I am not a human being. I–I am Alphonse Kauders.”

Alphonse Kauders said to Richard Sorge: “I doubt there exists an emptiness greater than that of empty streets. Therefore, it is better to have some tanks or bodies on the streets, if nothing else is possible. Because Anything is better than Nothing.”

Alphonse Kauders, in the course of time, put a revolver on Gavrilo Princip's temple, for he had burned a bee with his cigarette.

Alphonse Kauders, in the course of time, said to Stalin: “Koba, if you shoot Bukharin ever again, we shall have an argument.” And Bukharin was shot only once.

We read it in The Question of Bruno.

Originally published in TriQuarterly No. 93.

Sunday: A Song Cycle
Excerpt

There is an age when you believe that seeing something is the same as being shown what you can have.

Days divided by restaurant shifts, anchored by the routines of their home. Yard work in the afternoons; bills. Showers and baths came before the evening news. From my guest room, I could hear them calling to each other between the floors; whether there was more butter in the cellar, whether to put the rice water on yet, to drain the bath or leave it. A faucet squealed; a pan rang and damped itself on the stove. Then the quiet interval when they changed places, feet on the stairs–the rest of love, which I could only guess at.

We read it in Crazyhorse, No. 83.

Harrison Bergeron
Excerpt

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

“That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,” said Hazel.

“Huh,” said George.

“That dance-it was nice,” said Hazel.

“Yup,” said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren't really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn't be handicapped. But he didn't get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

We read it in Welcome to the Monkey House.

Originally published in Fantasy and Science Fiction.