This was the 13th reading in the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Series, hosted by J.L. Forrest at BookBar.
Shannon opened by reading from her story “Tailgating,” which is about two women driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway. One of the women spots a strange animal following them in the trees on the side of the road—and if that wasn’t alarming enough, whoever is in the car behind them will not stop tailgaiting them no matter how fast or slow they drive. Inspiration for this story came from road trips Shannon took in the past where the gas stations were few and far between, and anything unusual seemed ominous on the long, isolated stretches of road on the Pacific coast.
Next up was Jeff, reading from “Exit Ramp.” Part of the inspiration for this story came from a hotel he stayed at last year in a very industrial area, where no matter what he did he couldn’t avoid the odd, cloying smells which reminded him of when he melted plastic army men as a child. No one asked Jeff why he melted his toys as a child, so perhaps that will be answered in a future story…
Rebecca’s “Wiggle-Wiggle, Shake-Shake” came next, and as usual she did a phenomenal job of reading. Rebecca and Jeff collaborated to set their stories in the same world, about 15-20 years apart, and it’s a very intriguing world. Is the refinery pumping things into or out of the ground? Why do some people in this part of the country have haint blue eyes? And what exactly is that flying in the night sky? Jeff says there are more stories coming, so maybe we’ll find out—and whatever is going on in this world, we’ve been assured there are lots and lots of tentacles.
Thanks to Shannon, Jeff, and Rebecca for participating in the reading, to our wonderful host J.L. Forrest for making the night extra fun, and to BookBar for hosting this reading series!