Monday, September 27, 2010

Aaron's Story Recommendation of the Week :: Nine Bodies of Water by Monica Byrne

Fantasy 9/27/10My recommended story of the week is Nine Bodies of Water by Monica Byrne, published today (how's that for service!) at Fantasy Magazine.

Managed by Sean Wallace, Cat Rambo, and an outstanding staff, Fantasy Magazine is one of the best sources of fiction on the web, along with plenty of interesting interviews, reviews, and other non-fictional material. Fantasy has a distinctive style of literary fantasy, of which "Nine Bodies of Water" is an excellent example.

In "Nine Bodies of Water," our protagonist Alba is overwhelmed by a miserable series of ill fortune, followed by an amazing stroke of seemingly good luck. A child's nursery rhyme triggers visions of where the combination may lead. All her possible futures seem unhappy, but it is not obvious what lesson Alba should draw from that. This is a neatly constructed, gracefully written piece, with more underneath the surface than is immediately apparent.

Fantasy tells us nothing at all about Monica Byrne [update: Fantasy has since added a bio for Byrne, as well as an interesting interview], but there are no secrets in the Google Age. Byrne is a Clarion graduate, with stories forthcoming in Shimmer and Electric Velocipede. Which means soon she will be a famous, award-winning author, able to abandon that Master's in Analytical Geochemistry from MIT (seriously) and spend her days just making up stories. And it all started with a coveted SROTW.

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