Sunday, May 10, 2015

Watchlist Countdown, Day 21: “Lifehack at Bar Kaminuk” by Mark Chiusano

      The company was called FicShare. The idea behind it was that people could use the content on their Kindles or iPads that their friends or family weren't using--they could stream it, like Slingbox did for TV. At the moment you were limited to a maximum of five ShareBuddies, but the plan was for up to ten. The online interface was much slicker than the regular e-reading experience, and the ultimate goal was a community of readers, sharing and recommending texts. Marginalia would be transmitted, and book chats were easy to initiate. Anderson was the editorial side of the startup. Sometimes, Anderson worried that if it really succeeded like everyone else in the company thought it would, it would destroy the reading economy.

          from “Lifehack at Bar Kaminuk” by Mark Chiusano

For days after reading Mark Chiusano’s brilliant and terrifying story in the Watchlist anthology, I gave my Kindle and Kobo e-readers a wide berth. Were they really as evil as Chiusano (author of Marine Park) made them out to be in his story, set in the near future? Well, no, the devices themselves aren’t the bad guys in his fiction; it’s the human forces at play behind them. I won’t say anything else, for fear of spoiling “Lifehack at Bar Kaminuk,” but let’s just say that turning pages with a finger-swipe across a screen just got a little scarier.

Watchlist: 32 Short Stories by Persons of Interest, edited by Bryan Hurt, will be published by O/R Books on May 21.  The “persons of interest” contributing short stories to the anthology include Etgar Keret, Robert Coover, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Cory Doctorow, David Abrams, Randa Jarrar, Katherine Karlin, Miracle Jones, Mark Irwin, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Dale Peck, Bonnie Nadzam, Lucy Corin, Chika Unigwe, Paul Di Filippo, Lincoln Michel, Dana Johnson, Mark Chiusano, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Chanelle Benz, Sean Bernard, Kelly Luce, Zhang Ran, Miles Klee, Carmen Maria Machado, Steven Hayward, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Alexis Landau and Bryan Hurt.

No comments:

Post a Comment