"The Father Box" - John Lane, Sliver of Stone

Poet, essayist, novelist, teacher and friend John Lane is a person whose presence I miss, if only for his echoing call of "HELLO, BETSY!" whenever he visited the office. His fragmentary, poetic essay is both tribute and tactile reckoning. Sliver of Stone published my essay on roller coasters last summer.

"Like A River Loves the Sky" - Emma Torsz, Uncanny

I met Emma at a friend's wedding and we bonded over our jumpsuits; hers was dramatic, mine was very, very sparkly. Emma's story in Uncanny is a love story unlike any other--sensuous and distressing, romantic and restrained. I've never been so charmed by roadkill.

"And Then There Were (N-One)" - Sarah Pinsker, Uncanny

Fellow B-more transplant Sarah Pinsker's novella is an Agatha Christie multiverse send-up that tricked me with its sheer imagination. It's a whodunnit--was it Sarah Pinsker or SARAH PINSKER?--with a final image I still can't shake. I'm making my way through the 2018 Hugo and Nebula nominees, and I'm happy to see this included on both.

Finally, I'm ending with this seasonal Edna St. Vincent Millay poem from THE VAULTS OF TIME: