Over at SF Signal, A.C. Wise has posted the latest in her series of essays on “Women to Read!” — and this month, she focuses on “stories designed to sit uncomfortably, twist against expectations, offer truths that won’t stay put, narratives that can’t be trusted, and characters who refuse to hold their shapes.” Alongside discussions of Siobhan Carroll’s ‘Wendigo Nights,’ Vandana Singh’s ‘Ambiguity Machines: An Examination,’ and Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, Wise analyses my story ‘A Shot of Salt Water’ (The Dark, May 2015).
And, basically, wow. I am always hesitant to say things like, ‘This reader really gets it!’ or ‘Yep, that’s exactly what I was trying to do!’ because — *takes deep breath* — Roland Barthes has broken my brain and I cannot get past the death of the author and it doesn’t matter what I was trying to do all that matters is what readers get out of the story and hopefully that’s something awesome and memorable and somewhere remotely close to where I was aiming but ultimately the meaning derived from the work is theirs not mine even if that meaning is not at all what I’d intended my intentions have nothing to do with it once the words are out of my brain and on the page and in the world then they belong to the world and not me, et cetera, et cetera…
Having said that.
A.C. Wise totally gets it.