Friday 1 September 2017

Trading Worlds - Barry Lyga - A Short Story

Trading Worlds: 
A Short Story
Barry Lyga

Wow! What a powerful short story. But first some back story. This year Barry Lyga is releasing a new short story each month. He is doing it with a purpose in mind, defending free speech; for he is donating the proceeds of the sales of the short stories to the ACLU. You can read about why he is doing this on his site. Trading Worlds is the 9th installment in the series. This story was previous published in a literary magazine. Lyga in the introduction to this story states: 
So, sixteen years ago this month…  
Well, I don’t have to tell you. 9/11. There. This story is an old one. And it’s been published before, but most of you probably haven’t seen it. In the Fall of 2003 — three years before I published my first novel — “Trading Worlds” appeared in Glimmer Train, a well-respected literary journal run by sisters Susan Burmeister-Brown and Linda B. Swanson-Davies. I had dreamed of being published in Glimmer Train ever since reading my first copy a few years earlier, but despite my best efforts, none of my stories had ever landed there.”
Well, we know this story was picked up and published by them. It was one of a very small number of Lyga’s published prose that I had not read. And to be honest it is an incredible piece of writing. The only thing I can recall reading by Lyga that was so moving and visceral is Boy Toy, but that is for completely different reasons. 

As will all offerings in this series after the short story is a short piece by Lyga talking about the piece. In this one he quotes part of the note about this story in the original publication he says:
A week before I turned thirty, my best friend told me to stop fretting about getting older:  
“It’s not the end of the world.”  
It sure felt like it. 
I turned thirty the day the Towers fell, and I feel almost guilty for being aware of that, as if the fact that my fortieth birthday will be the tenth anniversary of the attacks is somehow my fault, and recognizing it makes me not only shallow, but also complicit in the deaths. Catholic/Jewish guilt is a powerful force.
Lyga wrote this piece as part of his way of processing the events of 9/11. And I believe it will touch anyone who reads it. It is the first book in this series that he addresses the cover. About the cover artist Barry states: 
“Fortunately, my good friend Jeff Dillon is a terrific artist, and he offered to produce something to accompany my Glimmer Train piece. Jeff put together a very powerful collage using images from September 11 and his own artwork. Now, years later, I asked him if I could re-use that art for the cover to this ebook, and he responded by creating a whole new cover for me!”
This is an incredible short story. There is a short story by J.F. Powers called The Warm Sand, that story haunted me for over a decade and has stuck with me for over 30 years. I have a feeling this one will have the same lingering impact. I have already read it twice and know I will keep rereading it for a long time. For fans of Barry Lyga’s work, and fans of short stories are receiving 12 new short stories from His masterful pen are a blessing this year, even if his reason for realing them is a cause for concern. It started in the fall of 2016 after the US General Election, the next day Barry asked himself what he could do, and he decided to use his words. For as an author words are his craft. And freedom of speech is core to him being able to write about what he wants to write about. He decided to publish a short story each month this year and to donate the proceeds to the ACLU. You can read about why he is doing this on his site

But be warned each story is only available for a month so you need to get it while you can. 

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

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