“I wrote this when I was working the graveyard shift in a large computer data center. Third shift can do terrible things to your brain after a while, because often you just don’t get the right kind of sleep (if you can sleep at all during the day; I never got the hang of it), and it kills your social life dead. I felt disconnected and zombified, and my short-term memory was starting to slip. My story came out of that experience, specifically my wondering what if I’d been put on that shift precisely because I couldn’t be allowed around normal people.”
by Lucy Snyder
I have excellent health insurance. There’s no bliss for me. What I and every other upstanding, gainfully-employed, fully-covered Type Three citizen gets is an allotment of refrigerated capsules containing an unappetizing grey paste. Mostly it’s cow brains and antioxidant vitamins with just the barest hint of pureed cadaver white matter. It’s enough to keep your skin and brains from ulcerating. It’s enough to keep your nose from rotting off. It’s enough to help you think clearly enough to function at your average white-collar job.
It is not enough to keep you from constantly wishing you could taste the real thing.
About the Author
Lucy A. Snyder is a five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author. She wrote the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, and Switchblade Goddess, the nonfiction book Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide, and the collections While the Black Stars Burn, Soft Apocalypses, Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Czech, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Scary Out There, Seize the Night, and Best Horror of the Year. She lives in Columbus, Ohio and is faculty in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction.
About the Narrator
In her own words:
I grew up in the Midwest, although I call home a mildly haunted, fey-infested house in metro Atlanta that I share with my husband, Matthew. After receiving my Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology, I retired from academia to pen flights of fancy. I also edit legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, which from time to time I suspect is another venture into flights of fancy.
I received the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novelette [for for her novelette, “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast,” ], the 2011 and 2012 Drabblecast People’s Choice Award for Best Story, and was named the 2009 Author of the Year by Bards and Sages. The Dragon and the Stars anthology, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, with my story, “Mortal Clay, Stone Heart,” won the 2011 Aurora Award for Best English Related Work. My fiction has also received the 2002 Phobos Award; been translated into eight languages; and been a finalist for the Hugo, Washington Science Fiction Association, and British Science Fiction Association awards.
My short story collection, Returning My Sister’s Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, was published in 2009 and has been used as a textbook at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of California-Davis. Check out my fiction index for a list of all my published and forthcoming works.
I’m a voting member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the non-profit writers organization founded by Damon Knight in 1965 and presenter of the Nebula awards.
Eugie Foster died on September 27th, 2014 of respiratory failure related to Lymphoma at Emory University in Atlanta. Her story, “When It Ends, He Catches Her,” published the day before her death, was nominated for the 2015 Nebula Award.
In her memory, the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction (or Eugie Award) celebrates the best in innovative fiction. This annual award is presented at Dragon Con, the nation’s largest fan-run convention.
The Eugie Award honors stories that are irreplaceable, that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. We will be looking for stories that are beautiful, thoughtful, and passionate, and change us and the field. The recipient is a story that is unique and will become essential to speculative fiction readers.