Thursday, October 30, 2008

On "Extinction" by B. J. Hollars (2385 words) ***

If the Hollars story featured earlier on this blog (here) was fantastic realism, this one falls more precisely into the realism camp. That earlier story, with its odd subject matter, caught my attention much more quickly, but this story still managed to keep me reading.

"Extinction" is, in part, a story about stereotypes. They aren't the stereotypes we usually think of, when looking at a national or human level--racial, gender, or otherwise. These stereotypes are more personal than that. These are stereotypes that two characters have built up about each other--a dad who fails to acknowledge that his son has grown up, and a son who can't see his father for the new man he is. This is also a story about change, two men dealing with grief, one the loss of a mother, the other the loss of a wife. And most important, this a story about desperation, about a dad trying to hang on--to life, to people, to anyone really, but most especially to his son. Stirring doesn't publish fiction very often, it seems, so the stories are rather special when they do. Read the piece here at Stirring.

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