How’s everyone holding up? Right about now I’m sure the reality of the situation is sinking in. We’ve got 3 hours behind us, we’ve still got 9 ahead. But instead on focusing on that, let’s focus on fractions. That means we’re 1/4 of the way through. In sixty short minutes we’ll be 1/3 of the way.
This hour is inspired by James Morrow, who really went above and beyond providing so many fantastic prompts that I refuse to choose just one of them. In fact, he gave me five, so I’ll throw them all out and let people pick.
- The first time he died, Edward Truffington vowed that he would arrange things differently next time.
- Have I entered upon this experiment out of curiosity, or am I in thrall to some malign force for which natural philosophy does not yet have a name?
- Not long after I’d learned to cope with my doppelgänger, I was given to understand that my doppelgänger had a doppelgänger.
- It was a snarky and do-re-mi night.
- Midway through his seminal investigation of pea-plant genetics, Gregor Mendel found a triffid growing in his monastery garden, whereupon his work went in a new direction.
So you’ve got your choices. Not sure if that makes things lower or higher pressure, but there we go. Have at it! Also, because he provided so many prompts, I’m going to spontaneously invent the James Morrow Rule! If, during the rest of the day, you just can’t get a story going for the prompt that hour, come back here and take another one of James Morrow’s prompts and run with it instead.
James Morrow has been writing fiction ever since, as a seven-year-old living in the Philadelphia suburbs, he dictated “The Story of the Dog Family” to his mother, who dutifully typed it up and bound the pages with yarn. Morrow’s passion for storytelling continued into adulthood, enabling him to win the World Fantasy Award (twice), the Nebula Award (twice), the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Prix Utopia, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. So far the author’s best known effort is the postmodern historical epic The Last Witchfinder, praised by Janet Maslin of the New York Times for fusing “storytelling, showmanship and provocative book-club bait … into one inventive feat.” He followed it with a thematic sequel, The Philosopher’s Apprentice, which NPR called “an ingenious riff on Frankenstein.” Morrow’s most recent book is a novella, Shambling Towards Hiroshima, set in 1945 and dramatizing the U.S. Navy’s attempts to leverage a Japanese surrender via a biological weapon that strangely anticipates Godzilla.