During my last stint at the Hewnoaks Artists Colony, I set for myself the modest challenge of writing a science fiction story. The resultant piece, called “Tootsie-Pop,” is a mythopoeic fiasco of amateur space exploration and foul-mouthed kids, wherein the word “dad” is synonymous with “asshole” and every mom is in love with Uncle Dick. And as of today, you can read this ridiculous misadventure in the debut issue of Orthogonal.
It was the first day of summer vacation and a million people were down by the lake. It was hot and beautiful and such a relief to be away from home and all the damn talk about space stations and dads. The lake water was cold and rusty and made me feel dopey like when the twins and I huffed all that glue out of a sweat sock but cleaner, too, like it was healthy, but Mom wouldn’t come in with me. She was sniffing around by the lifeguard tower, hoping for an uncle of her own, I guess. As I swam among the other people with their wet hair all crazy and spit hanging off their chins, I spotted Ginny along the shoreline in a brown two-piece bathing suit. She had a hula-hoop that she was working quite aggressively with her little round hips, the sight of which for whatever reason made me really mad. She was sucking on a Tootsie-Pop. She was smiling around the stick. Before Mom and I left, I showed Ginny my penis, but she just laughed.
For less than the cost a single beer from anywhere but the divey-est dives, this ebook also features four other great alternative notions of what the sci-fi genre can be. Lovely to savor and just as stupefying. You won’t even have to leave a tip.