?

Log in

No account? Create an account
I'm not really Stanley Lieber. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stanley Lieber

[ website | stanley. ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Links
[Links:| archive comics flickr itrecords rss thegreen tumblr twitter vr www youtube ]

SL/fiction 04.04.07 | ADVANCE [Apr. 4th, 2007|07:38 am]
Stanley Lieber
[Tags|, , , , , , , , , , , ]






ADVANCE
516 words by Stanley Lieber




All told, it was three years until I saw him again. Draped in something reflective, outfitted for stresspants.

He appraised me, amused.

"I don't suppose you objected too strenuously, when they told you what it was they planned to do to me."

Six years old. Circumcised. Ready to start public school.

"Son, I've been doing my best to provide for your future. You're getting the best education tax dollars can buy."

"Prove it, Dad. They cut off my stick."

By 1963, the war had started.

"They didn't cut it off. They've trimmed back the excess skin. Hygienic benefits. Read up on your New Jack Testament. It's part of the package."

I'll admit, the family tended to shunt Tommy aside. We had shelled into advanced operations and were channeling most of our attention to the tactical situation above ground. Probably some things slipped by unnoticed.

"Nobody ever asked what I wanted."

Maybe I should have sent him back to his mother. He seemed more attuned to her.

"Irrelevant. You're not old enough to have an opinion on this. Here, hop on up here. Help me parse these filter rules. We have incoming."



"You old fuss budget!"

My daughter.

"Why don't you give him a break. He's been studying all summer."

"This wasn't strictly my decision, Violet."

"Lies! You're the ranking officer now."

"He's going to learn a lot more by observing us here than he would diddling with you and your mother back at home. Praying. Whatever it is you do."

"You're wearing him out."

"It's part of the training. He'll endure."

"Well, gee. I would advise that you get yourself a good lawyer. Tommy's peer group is quite litigious. See you never."

Violet slammed a lot of doors, that year.



The dream was this:

My wife, my sister and Violet wandering through HQ. Someone I don't remember from high school walking up and smearing grease paint on my face, saying "Don't you remember me?"

My wife, my sister and Violet walking through someone's house as a shortcut. The women stop to pick through the occupants' belongings. I advise them not to continue but they've become unresponsive. The occupants of the hovel wake up and sound the alert for their extended family, who appear from out of nowhere and accost us.

Hometown Security arrives with shock troops and we are all separated and detained. I am interrogated by Jeff from Curb Your Enthusiasm.



By 1963 I had quit smoking, but still I made routine trips to the balcony to clear my head and to stare at the snow. There's no telling what my handlers thought of this. Ten below zero and there I was, out there in my shirtsleeves.

Well, fuck 'em.

I was close. Ten more months and the agency would have recouped on my advance. Then I could start in on the mortgage. Savings. Things would start to look up.

Mostly.

Tommy was still a worry. Soon they'd want to draft him.

I wasn't sure he was ready.




To be continued...







creative.commons.attribution-noncommercial-noderivs.2.5

1OCT1993 | INDEX



LinkReply

Comments:
From: blndsnnts
2007-04-04 04:11 pm (UTC)
I like it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stanleylieber
2007-04-04 10:26 pm (UTC)
I think you have to create an account to read the comments, but I've been posting these over at oort-cloud.org. What I have learned is that SF fans really have no tolerance for ambient detail.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: the_van_dyck
2007-04-05 05:38 am (UTC)
What I have learned is that SF fans really have no tolerance for ambient detail.

This is extremely true.Most Sci-Fi fans(read:geeks) have little to no interest in actual storytelling, and are more concerned with the author building a universe to play in- hence why people enjoy Star Wars.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stanleylieber
2007-04-05 05:41 am (UTC)
Yeah but Star Wars isn't really Sci-Fi, either. I think the major problem is that literary fiction and SF have never really intersected cleanly (unless you count Philip K. Dick, who most hard SF fans hate). In one corner you have the desire to explore engineering aspects of future technology, and in the other corner you have people concerned with the human condition. It's not surprising that more engineering-minded folks aren't interested in the human condition, but it is disheartening.

Then again, you like what you like, and in the end I can have no objection to that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: silenceinspades
2007-04-05 07:21 am (UTC)
i've found this to be true of most sf fans as well. they essentially want to fuck robots. or robot aliens or possibly robot dragons and want it explained to them exactly how that could plausibly happen.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stanleylieber
2007-04-05 07:28 am (UTC)
I can understand being emotionally retarded, but I think in the case of many ultra-nerds it becomes pathological. I've known a lot of brilliant coders that were maybe a hair's width from putting people in ovens. No empathy at all. The extreme isolation foisted on rejects in high school sometimes never wears off. I've known people that were so distanced from human interaction as to be truly frightening. Fictional characters become the basis for every argument that has to do with human beings. It stands to reason that when someone comes to fiction looking for that kind of service, they're not going to settle for anything less.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: silenceinspades
2007-04-05 07:36 am (UTC)
i agree. i think they actually take it a step further and hate authors and creators. they feel these worlds belong to them and no human could ever do it the justice it deserves. even the people that created it. it's why 99% of the people that are really into comics dislike every comic ever published.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stanleylieber
2007-04-05 07:40 am (UTC)
Ooh, very true. It's worse when they do like your stuff.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: blndsnnts
2007-04-05 03:45 pm (UTC)
That's a sad state of affairs.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)