I don’t know what did it, but the Bull has been mightily explosive this afternoon. Maybe it was the tuna or the hippy cereal I ate this morning. I can’t be sure, but I would not want to be near me today. My methane expulsions could power the Eastern Seaboard. I am Bulldust Master of Gas.
And speaking of gas, we have “No Day for a Family Man”. So what we have here is a tale of a man visiting his estranged wife. She is busy with her job, and Irving feels that she is cheating on him with her coworker. However, he travels a day and a half each way to bring their kids to visit their mother at work. And Irving really fucking hates Harvey Ackermann. I fucking hate that douchebag, too. Fuck Harvey Ackermann that trifling wife stealer.
Now Irving and his sons have to travel all the way home, so Irving can get back to his shitty job and deal with his shitty coworkers, while his wife is living her executive lifestyle banging Harvey. It’s complete bullshit. Bastards.
But two pages into this cap something happens. Suddenly the cap is invaded by another cap. We are no longer in Irving’s head. It’s no longer about Irving and his Harvey issues, but about some weird cloud. Then halfway into the cap, the cloud becomes malicious and begins disintegrating everyone. Then Irving and his son Josh are also dead.
The cloud eats most of the plane, and we get a two page POV from the cloud, called a throng, explaining how it landed on our planet through a wormhole and how it hates saltwater but loves the taste of people.
So, many commas are missing, some need to be removed and some punctuation just generally needs adjusting.
The transition out of Irving’s head was weird. There was lots of detail about Irving, then suddenly it is meaningless. Maybe this is the intent, to show the futility of all his bullshit as an alien eats him. It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t do it for me. Maybe I’m being subjective and this is personal taste. Either way, I have to say no. We’ll see what the Rocks thinks.
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Re:NO DAY FOR A FAMILY MAN
Date: 2018/02/22 15:46
Most disaster-genre epics do a lot of zooming in and out, examining their characters' lives up close with all their attendant conflicts and mundaneness, then out to the big awful truth and picture. Like life is a disaster epic. We're all going to die, mostly horribly. But meanwhile we wrestle with husband-in-laws (Rocks has two: the guy who married his ex, and the guy whose ex he's now with) and each other's kids, and "ills and thrills, and even spills" (w/ a nod to Hendrix's Belly button Window) and bills, and, of course, getting our trunk stories published.
But this approach probably doesn't work that well in short fiction, and totally doesn't work here... unless the intent was humor, because this might be one of the funniest stories Rocks has ever read. Technically, it's good. The prose itself is fine, as one would expect from a prestigious Fish competition long- and short-lister. But structurally, as in strategically, it's like it was written by an eleven-year-old on Ritalin while watching Jeffy episodes on Youtube. Characters are introduced at length, and then abandoned. The main POV character, whose life's trials and tribs and supporting cast have been so carefully and skillfully and, dare Rocks say, literarily, presented is, halfway through, eaten alive by a cloud-like alien collective that somehow enters the plane he's on's cabin through one of its jet engines (Rocks is no airline mechanic, but...). Having killed the only character the reader might have come to care about, the POV switches to that of the aliens, who call themselves the Throng, and their almost entirely expository ending. We learn that they have come to Earth in search of kibble. That, despite having mastered intergalactic travel, they have lost many of their own to salty seawater which they were not aware was bad for them (though blood apparently is not). That humans are delicious, and nutritious! Given that there are 8 or 9 billion humans littering the planet's surface, it's not clear to Rocks why this Throng felt the need to chase down a 500 mph aircraft for its morsel.
So, for now, No. Not even close to being monkey fodder. But, if the VC were to rewrite this cap in the voice and style, replete with the typos, formatting and grammatical errors one would expect of an eleven-year-old on Ritalin watching Jeffy episodes on Youtube, it would definitely be worth another look.