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Short Stories > Spar by Kij Johnson (Short Story Group Read)

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message 1: by Tressa (last edited Mar 02, 2012 07:34AM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Here's the link to "Spar." Enjoy. It won a Bram Stoker so it's got to be good, right?


message 2: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments And your second take?

message 3: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Here's a link to an interview with Johnson where she discusses the story.


message 4: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) | 2035 comments I cannot wait to read it!

message 5: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments The story is relentless throughout.

message 6: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) | 2035 comments Ooooo goody...It sounds good.

message 7: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) | 2035 comments Ok I read the story....weird! Like a wreck...you just have to keep reading.

message 8: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Did you get a chance to read the interview?

message 9: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) | 2035 comments Not yet....will head there now.

message 10: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) | 2035 comments I read the story and the interview. Quite a character she is (both the author and the story character).

"This is a story I love without liking it at all." I liked this quote from Johnson. I can totally understand what she is saying.

Communication breaks down in so many relationships....

message 11: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments The story as analogy of a marriage or relationship works. Using sex to fill the boredom, using it to take something from another, to punish another, using it in place of talking, using it as a habit; the fear of leaving the comfort of the known for the unknown.

What really hits home for me is the author's comment about "the cruelty of familiarity." If you've been with someone for so long, no matter how much you love them and respect them, little pieces of cruelty here and there creeps out. It's like it's innate to us and we just can't suppress it.

message 12: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments They were opposed because it was too graphic? Hey, it's sci-fi. Just a small piece of an alien encounter, but an alien encounter none the less.

The story is non-stop violation of the body. Reading it tired me out as if it were happening to me.

message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda M. Lyons (amandamlyons) What an intense story! It was clear it was written by a woman but it also sort of reminded me of Ellison's sci-fi, very cerebral.

message 14: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Michael wrote: "
But I do object to the genre violation of the misspelled "come" :) ..."

I noticed this too, lol.

message 15: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Scott, I posted it a few years ago here but it got buried and forgotten. I liked it when I read it then and thought it may get some good discussion going this time.

It's like you can't even come up for air while reading it because it starts right in the middle of the sex and never stops.

Amanda, it does remind me of Ellison's style.

I was so stunned by the visuals the story conjures up that I don't think I even tried to find meaning in it.

message 16: by Bandit (last edited Mar 05, 2012 06:21AM) (new)

Bandit (lecturatoro) | 8224 comments well...first thing's first, wrong story to eat during breakfast lol
other than that...kick ass opening line,strong story and I was able to "get" the metaphor/moral behind it, but I think for me it was just too bluntly viscerally graphic to enjoy

message 17: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments It's odd. Of course I notice at first it's graphic, but as it goes along I get caught up in the woman's exhaustive struggle to orient herself of what happened and where she is, then to accept what's happening to her, then to try to numb herself to what's happening to her person, then to try to relate to the alien, then to try to violate him the same way she's being violated, etc., that I don't focus on the graphic words but just the actions of this woman to overcome this predicament.

It was like jumping into the car in the middle of a roller coaster ride. There's no time to think, just endure it and get to the end of the line.

message 18: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Does anyone want to start this Friday's short story read? Got a short story of any kind you'd like to post and discuss?

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