As you might be able to tell from the chronology between this entry and the last, the recent past has been a bit rocky here. Such is life, I suppose. Things will work out, and I’ll be fine. Anyway, that’s a way to say that two days ago—or, technically, two nights ago—I decided for the first time in a while to read some fiction. Having so decided, I picked up my kindle and scanned through its contents.
I wanted something short, I thought. Partially, I admit, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the time it took to read a novel, but also because there’s something magic about short fiction that isn’t really there in a longer work. Short fiction done well is like fine crystal. Whereas novels can roar, short stories ring (though sometimes with the decibel levels of said novel). That’s what I wanted. A story that would ring.
Scrolling through the items I came upon C. H. Hung’s “Asking For It.”
The title made me smile.
I’d met C.H. Hung at a writers conference a few years back—a conference in which I was “forced” to read several of her stories before attending. To be direct, I think my first words upon meeting her in person were “I think I’m your reader.” I love her work. Every piece I’ve read has this amazing flow and this sublime energy. And yes, for my tastes, everything I’ve read from her has rung.
When I saw the title “Asking For It,” the story flowed back into me. I’d read it before, of course. It’s a tasty, tasty bit of work which I will not talk about in any detail because you need to read it. Which is what I did those two nights ago, and which is why I can say that it totally, totally stands up. You can get it in The Holiday Spectacular #1 which has 35 stories in it (full disclosure, some are mine).
My need for a story temporarily satisfied, I went to sleep.
The following day, I ruminated.
I wonder what she’s been up to since then? I asked myself.
So today I ran past her web page (linked above) and saw she’s got a bunch of stuff out in several anthologies—which you should certainly buy. Even better, I see that one of her pieces has been made available for free (which is something that happens occasionally when a story is listed on Recommended Reading Lists).
It’s a story titled “The Winds and Waters of Mars.” I finished it a few minutes ago, which means that—for me—the story is still ringing. As with “Asking For It,” I’ll not ruin it for you by discussing plot. I will, however, say you should most definitely read it.
If you do, I suspect that you, too, will become her reader.