Friday 2 June 2017

Her Decade: A Short Story - Barry Lyga

Her Decade: A Short Story
A Short Story
Barry Lyga
Barry Lyga LLC

This is the 6th instalment in the 2017 Short Story Series by Barry Lyga. It all started last year after the US General Election. The next day Barry asked himself what he could do, and he decided to use his words. He is publishing a short story each month this year and donating the proceeds to the ACLU. You can read about why he is doing this here. For fans of Lyga's work or fans of great short stories it is a win win situation. Barry gets to do something. The ACLU gets the revenue. And we get to read some great short stories. That is the good news, the bad news is the short story is only available for one month. So you need to get it while you can. 

Of the 6 stories released so far this year, this is the only one that was previously published. This story was available about 10 years ago through a sampler called Brookdale and Beyond. That sampler included samples of the 4 novels set in Brookdale. It also contained a preview of his forthcoming book Mangaman, and also included three short stories, including this one. The interesting thing is this was the first story set in Brookdale. And for fans of the Brookdale novels it is a special treat. 

In the introduction Lyga states this story began its life around November 2001. And since that time there have been 5 novels set in the same fictional town named Brookdale:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)
Each of these books was a fantastic reads in their own right. A few of them make reference to pieces of this story in passing. But this was the story that started it all. Lyga states:

"For now, though, this: When I wrote "Her Decade," I had a fledgling notion in the back of my mind that I would craft a set of interlinked short stories, with main characters in one story serving as background or ancillary characters in others, all of them crossing over into each other's worlds and lives. This idea was influenced by such diverse antecedents as William Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County and the shared universes of DC and Marvel Comics lore. There was no specific end-game to this notion - I just liked the idea of having my own fictional playground, where stories could unfold and speak to one another as necessary."

This story does stand very well on its own. But it also helps provide some background to the Brookdale series.

This story is written in a series of first person narratives. They could almost be journal entries. All from the same point of view, all dated May 20th starting in 1991 and going until 2002. It is the story of a mistake, it is the story of an unusual punishment and it is in part a story about reconciliation. Celebrating his 18th birthday a day early a young man kills a girl in a drunken driving accident. His punishment is to visit the grave on the anniversary for 10 years. He must visit the grace of Susan Ann Marchetti. As the date approaches so does his apprehension. For 10 years he must visit the grave of the girl he killed, on his own birthday. 

This story packs a lot of punch. Buying this short story will help support freedom of speech in the US. But it also gives you an incredible short story to read.  So grab it while it is available.

Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)

The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)
Thanos Titan Consumed (2018)
The Hive (2019)


Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight

Contributed to:

Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner

No comments: