“Suck one and die,” says Scotty, a tall, mostly true, kid. “I’m aggressive ’cause I think you don’t know sh*t.”
I’m used to not knowing what’s going on at the start of a story. I expect it.
But this story slid under my skin with that weird ‘mostly true’, quickly followed by the kid unexpectedly explaining himself to the victim of his insult.
Something about it seemed off, but it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to figure it out. It hinted to me that we were in the ‘not-now’.
It’s important to orient the reader in the first few lines (something I learned from Mary Robinette Kowal), with the ‘who’, the ‘where’ and the ‘genre’. I’m fairly sure this is goign to be a story featuring kids, and it’s not going to be realistic contemporary fiction.
For the first story in a collection of literary short stories (which can be, for my taste, a little relentlessly contemporary and realistic) this was a very promising start.Continue reading “[Reading Room] The Era by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah”