Uruguay

August 30th, 2010

 

Camera Obscura’s most recent addition to the Winter table of contents, “Uruguay”, by Henriette Lazaridis Power, warrants a second read immediately after the first, if for no other reason than to enjoy the carefully wrought language again, or to discover one of the many details hidden within the folds. The story begins:

“In the time it took to curl his toes over the edge, his reasons not to jump became the reasons he should do it. And that was what his friend—a man he hardly knew before this trip—shouted to him now. “Do it!” Two simple words, echoing, taunting, allowing. Against those syllables, the rest of it had no chance. Children. Family. Career. It was all extra. Extravagant, even. What mattered was this pure moment above a blue bay. What mattered was that he should jump.”

Henriette Lazaridis Power is a Greek/American writer whose work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Salamander, the New England Review, The New York Times online, The Millions, and the blog Beyond the Margins where she is a regular contributor. A Rhodes Scholar and a Ph.D., she taught English literature at Harvard for ten years. Power is the founding editor of The Drum Literary Magazine, an online literary magazine publishing short fiction and essays exclusively in audio form. Power is currently finishing a novel set in remote Northern Greece.

We also added a haunting short-short by Amanda Yskamp called BTU that begins:

“The crackling of flames translated to the arc of a Tesla coil in my dream – a line of blue barbed with sparks, the sound of voltage showing its fractures , until the siren shook me loose.”

Amanda Yskamp’s work has appeared in such magazines as Threepenny Review, Hunger Mountain, Caketrain, Redivider, and The Georgia Review. She lives with poet Doug Larsen and their two children on the 10-year flood plain of the Russian River.

In the process of reading some great stories. Much more to come. We’re hoping to get the Winter Issue out the door on Dec. 1 (Hmm, sounds like a great holiday present)

MEP

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Energy of Change

August 18th, 2010

 

Given its philosophical underpinnings and esoteric nature, almost to the point of mysticism for the uninitiated, mathematics can be a great tool around which to build a story. However, despite my personal mathematical leanings, I would be leery of any suggestion to begin a story with an actual mathematical equation. Slated to appear in the Winter 2010 issue of the Camera Obscura Journal, “The Wolf’s Choice” by Peter Tieryas Liu, excerpted below, is an exception that I will gladly make. 

v= Hd was the equation for the rate at which galaxies sped away from one another, the H standing for Hubble’s Constant, the v, for the vapid volume of velocity. The third variable was d, representing distance, the diametrical disposition of difference. And somehow, these three digits summarized the universe into a trinity of letters, simplicity exemplified. It struck me, when I first learned the variables, how it would have taken a thousand times more energy to resist change than to accept it.

 I’d spent eight months wandering through the honeycomb of Asia, shifty Bangkok, grand Beijing, contemporary Shanghai, futuristic Tokyo, all convicted in the nexus of modernization and unshackled faith. I was adrift, tugged and pulled by the gravity of solitude, a festering hunger driving me like a relentless martinet.”

Peter Tieryas Liu has recently had short stories accepted for publication in the Binnacle, Gargoyle, Prism Review, Quiddity International Literary Journal, and ZYZZYVA. He’s worked as a technical writer for Lucasfilm and is a character technical director for Sony Pictures where he’s worked on features like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and I Am Legend. This story is dedicated to Leza.

 Much more to comes as the issue unfolds – MEP

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