Not long after I returned from my weeklong writing bootcamp (Viable Paradise XVI), I awoke at 3 am with these lines in my head:
“You’re dying?” she said.
“We’re all dying,” he replied. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
I scribbled this down and went back to sleep. The next day (or thereabouts, I can’t honestly remember), I started a story that would eventually become “Human Faces.”
The story is an homage to Roger Zelazny in many ways, and one of the easiest first drafts I ever produced. Polishing the story took a lot more effort, though, since I had to call in some linguistic assistance. The story’s protagonists are aliens who visit Earth and drop in on friends in Greece, Sweden, and Japan. Counting English, this is my first attempt to include four distinct languages in a short story.
(Spoiler alert: several characters in Sweden are based on my family.)
It’s also, in many respects, an uplifting story. Not my usual thing.
Perihelion SF bought the story today. Look for it later this year. Cheers.