Thursday 2 November 2017

The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan - Barry Lyga - A Short Story

The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan: 
A Short Story
Barry Lyga

This the 11th of 12 instalments in Barry Lyga's year of short stories. For 9 of the 11 so far it is the first time that they have seen publication. This is one of those, and according to Lyga it is one of his earliest works. But I am getting head of myself. The year of short stories is a collection of short stories each being available for a limited run of one month. But they are more than just limited availability short stories. They are being released with a purpose, and all the proceeds are going to the ACLU. The purpose of these stories is defending free speech; for Lyga is donating the proceeds of the sales of the short stories to the ACLU. You can read more about why he is doing this on his site. This story was written in the early 1990's. Lyga states:
"Of all the stories written for this project, this is the oldest. It dates back to the very early nineties, to my second and most worthwhile creative writing class at Yale. The professor was Tom Perrotta, now famed for Little Children and The Leftovers, but at the time those were still in his (and our) future. Tom was a terrific creative writing teacher, though."
So this story was written 27 years ago. And yet it has an immediate impact. I read this story, and then thought about it overnight and the next day reread it. From this story I can see where some of the stuff from the I Hunt Killers series has percolated down from. Reading the story is a little jumbled. The Dr. performing an autopsy is reflecting on how he got there, and remembering events back and forth through time. From his childhood, collage days, being in Vietnam, Iraq and more. It is the sort of ruminations I am sure many of us make throughout the day about whey we are where we are, and what brought us to this career or this point in life. But for him the memories all revolve around bodies being processed. 

The memories are far more details then we ever say in Quincy M.E. but in a post Dexter world they seem pretty tame. But what really got me was the intense personal introspection, and self-understanding of our protagonist. 

Barry is a favorite contemporary author of mine who has written some incredible books, and amazing series. Both his I Hunt Killers series and his Brookdale High books are excellent reads and books that I have read and reread. But going back and seeing one of Lyga's earliest pieces is truly a privilege for a fan of his works. With this specific story and the whole series we are getting to see some of the greater range that Lyga has as an author and a wordsmith. As the first of each month draws near I have been checking and rechecking to see when the new story would be published so I could grab the eBook and read it right away. Of the 11 of them then release so far I would say I appreciate Four Minutes, Trading Worlds, and this one were the most impactful for me. 

This is a great short story. And if we had not been told that it was one of his earliest works I would never have guessed that. 

This year of short stories by Barry Lyga is great for fans of short stories, but especially for fans of his works. We are receiving 12 new short stories from His masterful pen are a blessing this year, even if his reason for releasing them is a cause for concern. It started in the fall of 2016 after the US General Election, for the very next day Barry asked himself what he could do, and as a writer 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. And this one is especially worth grabbing!

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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