Ah, Houston in June, there’s nothing else like it. Well, nothing except for Houston in July and August, September and May. But last month’s biblical flood reminded us that hurricane season is approaching, and that it’s time for another issue of Story|Houston.
The stories in this issue are tied together by a strong sense of place—not our place necessarily—and, in the mind of this editor, should be read in a particular order.
Chris Sumberg’s “Traffic” might be Story|Houston’s first postmodern black comedy. If you read it with the right attitude, it’s a barrel of laughs and will make you question your day job and the things we do for money. By the way, if you have some, please consider donating to Houston’s fourth largest literary journal by clicking the button below. Following Mr. Sumberg’s protagonist, perhaps a “meta” approach to fundraising can lessen the pain.
After you’ve recovered from laughing and cringing at “Traffic,” you’ll want to move on to Kathryn Streeter’s “Resurrection.” It’s rare that we get submissions written in second person, and even rarer that we receive submissions as textured and rich as Ms. Streeter’s. “Resurrection” is the first such story we’ve published since John McDermott’s “Uncle Dixon” in Issue 1, and like McDermott, Streeter invites us to a world we don’t know and makes us feel that we’ve spent time there.
By this point your palate for place will be well-whetted, and you’ll be ready for Kim Bussing’s “Iowa.” The protagonist of the third work in the suggested sequence uses place the way many of us use it in our own lives. We travel and read to experience something different, and we return to those places where we like ourselves and the stories we can tell there. After “Traffic” and “Resurrection,” “Iowa” might be the perfect place to do some winding down.
Special thanks go again to Nick Senkel, Chelsea Keeton, and Elena Lacey for their wonderful story illustrations, and to Matt Boelsche for another excellent cover. Can you spot Driftwood in the crowd at FPSF? I’m told that holy fool is down there somewhere.
Lastly, we’d like to draw attention to our First Annual Short Fiction and Non-Fiction Story Contest. The winners will receive monetary prizes and be published in Story|Houston’s first chapbook. Exciting stuff. The deadline for submissions is July 10th; for those of you who’ve already submitted, thank you, and for those of you haven’t, time to polish a piece of fiction or non-fiction for Lacy Johnson, our contest judge, to consider. And if you’re a writer developing your voice or mulling the role of the artist in society, check out Amanda Scott’s interview with Lacy, also included in this issue.
Co-Founder and Editor