if there’s one story

Hello, readers.

Things continue to happen. Here is a selection of said things. 

Thing one.

John Oliver, about halfway through this video, sits down with the Dalai Lama. I’m not sure there’s a laugh better in this world than that of the Dalai Lama. Seriously. Just listen.

My favorite part might be the part where the Dalai Lama confers his demonic status onto an understandably reluctant John Oliver.

Thing two

There’s a book I want to read. This is almost always a thing. Currently the thing that is this thing is a book by Angie Thomas called The Hate U Give. All the people are talking about it. Including the people named John Green. Whose blurb adorns the front cover and who also mentioned it in this installment of Vlogbrothers as destined to become a classic.

Thing three

There’s a new Storyological episode out in the world: THAT DANIELA ROMO MOMENT. It includes the longest conversation that we’ve yet had concerning the merits of Soviet architecture. It also marks the first time we’ve ever talked about a piece of non-fiction. What is truth? I don’t know. If it exists, it probably exists only probabilistically speaking.

We discussed these two stories:

“Love” by Yuri Olesha, originally published in 1928, and readable here. It is remarkably entertaining.

“The Boy Who Never Cried for Me” by Juliana Delgado Lopera, a funny sad bursting brilliant story published in a brilliant magazine (Midnight Breakfast)

Thing four

There’s this thing where people, at parties or shows or other such events, forfeit their smartphones to the confines of a smartphone-locking pouch from a company called Yondr.

I’m not really sure when we began, as a species, to deliberately misspell words as a basis for identity and meaning, but I’m pretty sure the practice has increased exponentially in the last twenty years. Much like wealth inequality. Related? Probably not.

Thing five

Abigail Nussbaum has published her picks for the Short Fiction categories on the Hugo Ballot. A lot of wonderful things to read here. Particularly, “The Venus Effect” by Joseph Allen Hill. We discussed how amazing it amazes in this one episode of Storyological. Here’s what Abigail said:

It’s not an exaggeration to say that stories like this one are why I keep doing this, rooting through hundreds of short stories on the off chance of happening on one, by an author I’ve never heard of, that completely blows me away. I don’t want to say too much about “The Venus Effect”‘s plot, both because it’s a surprise worth preserving, and because to describe the story is to make it sound like so much less than what it is–too academic, too gimmicky, too preachy. This is a story about stories, and about who gets to be the hero in the core stories of our genre. It shouldn’t work–the tack Hill chooses should come off as glib, and the structure he comes up with should devolve into repetition–and yet, amazingly, it does. If there’s one story on this list that I’d like you to read, “The Venus Effect” is it.


So, there you go. Go read it, already.

Happy Tuesday, readers.