I’m posting this early because I won’t be around in the morning, and I’m taking care not to include any spoilers. Not that I tend to write shocking surprise endings, but someone told me last year that they wished I hadn’t told them anything about this story before they had read it.
So, what can I say about “Slumber” that isn’t too much? First, that you’ll only get to read it on the 10th if you’re subscribed to Daily Science Fiction. If you’re not, you’ll have to wait until the 17th, when you can find it at DSF’s website.
What else? While looking over the galley earlier this week, I thought a lot about where stories come from, and how they translate to readers. “Slumber” arises from any number of places–family mythology, my own interests as a reader, a fleeting image. Things get stuck in my head and churn around there until they cohere into something solid.
Those things, they’re important to me, but once the story goes public, they vanish. The story becomes something else, filtered through the brains of others. Sometimes that something else amazes me. Sometimes it puzzles me. Mostly it’s a strange process, this handing off of story to the world at large.
All of which says nothing about this story, does it? I’m talking around the point. For me, “Slumber” is about relationships, about their seasons, about what it means to wake up and be able to say “you stayed.” It’s not beauty, it’s not wit–it’s seeing beneath the skin of someone, and, just as much, beneath your own. It’s the things you relinquish and the things you gain in staying. It’s very much about the darkness I’ve passed through, and what it means to have someone waiting on the other side.
I think that’s enough of non-spoilers and non-answers. Have a spectacular weekend!