ALREADY one month into the New Year and we finally put our first fiction feature up at our site. (A sign of our selectivity? The benefits of waiting?)
The story is “Glow Worm Farm” by Kathy Lanzarotti. One of the rare stories where both NPL editors not only agreed on the selection, but 100% agreed, in that we’d both give it scores of 10 out of 10. The question: Why?
Perhaps because it’s a template for an ideal short story circa 2023, when the task is to make the art form relevant and compelling. The story has it all– acknowledgment of the madness of today’s world, including the future of that world (robots)– with swipes at media and consumerism– with no shying away from politics, in highlighting violent aspects of the current extremist political landscape. Ostensibly set three years into the future, the tale makes the reader realize that future is here. The story contains also, amid the madness, an embrace of the natural, the living. That which gives life meaning. We’ve run a series of topical stories of late– as well as stories with great sensibility and emotion. “Glow Worm Farm” scores on both counts.
Topicality and emotion: a powerful combination. Must reading for anyone interested in where short fiction is now, and where it’s going. Where it should be going.
When the National Guard arrived, most of the neighbors were outside. Sarah watched them trade rumors from the nutshell of her porch swing. Mayberry on her lap. A cup of cinnamon coffee in her green mug that read, I’m a Ray Of Fucking Sunshine. Rumors and speculation was all anyone had at that point. The WiFi and cell service, TV and radio, stopped with the blast. Sarah was no scientist but she’d watched enough movies to know this wasn’t a good sign. And then there was the sky, cast a hazy pink orange that was both light and dark at the same time.