Victory Lap, a boy watches the attempted abduction of the girl next door and needs to decide whether to act.
Sticks, 2-page story of a metal pole a dad drapes with sentiments of life.
Puppy, two mothers, one trying to raise a child with severe issues and a second trying to love her kids better than she felt loved by her mother, meet over a puppy.
Escape from Spiderhead, pharmaceutical experiments change feelings into lust and the title character, Jeff,watches and meets death.
Collection of Stories
What commonalities across the stories appeared to you as you read?
There are ten stories in this collection. How intentional do you think that is given the title of the book?
- In both Victory Lap and Puppy, there are two principal characters. Although written in the third person, as the viewpoint shifts from one to the other, we, as readers take in the world through the thought process of the character controlling the perspective.
- Escape from Spiderhead and Home are both written in the first person as a running commentary of what the protagonist is seeing and feeling, with interspersed dialogue.
- Exhortation and Semplica Girl Diaries are both written as a correspondence, the first a memo and the second a journal.
Ties to Your Life
“even though the settings and situations in the stories were sort of cartoonish and overwrought, my real beliefs and anxieties were being mapped out onto these fictive worlds more powerfully and exactly (albeit inadvertently and in a sort of fun-house manner) than they ever had in anything more “real-life” that I’d written. And, in fact, the weird thing was that these new stories were sort of leading me to understand what I believed about the life I was living, in a way that no amount of rational thought could have done.”
Connections Between Stories
“So that was interesting to me, and also I felt this story to be somehow connected to another one—“Victory Lap”—which ran in the magazine a couple of years ago; I could feel both stories asking questions like: Given the nature of the life (nasty, brutish, short), how is it that good does, in fact, manage to get done? Or: when goodness manifests, how does it manifest? What does it look like and sound like, what are the qualities of the people who do it?”
Emotional Response to the Stories
“I started to feel that, at certain points in some of the stories, the most interesting aesthetic motion—the plot twist, if you will—was the one that swerved away from what I might call the habitually catastrophic.”
You can purchase Tenth of December online at Hugo Bookstores .