Sequels are hard. For every Empire Strikes Back, there is a Teen Wolf Too and a Jason Takes Manhattan. For every Godfather Part II, there’s a Conan the Destroyer and a Speed II: Cruise Control. We at Story|Houston hope to have defied these odds with our sophomore issue.
Rick Moody, the author of The Ice Storm, Garden State, and numerous other acclaimed novels, shares with us another prose gem, “The Turkeys of Marfa.” Mr. Moody takes us 600 miles west of Houston to the town of Marfa, Texas, where the artist community vies with local ranchers over the fate of a group of birds pursuing “the easy life.” Our co-editor Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate brought our attention to “Turkeys,” and by featuring Mr. Moody’s story we were certain we would avoid the territory occupied by Blues Brothers 2000.
Also in the issue is “Turning,” the latest story from R.T. Smith, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet, author, and editor of Shenandoah. With an effortlessness that comes from decades of experience making and editing fiction, Mr. Smith gives voice to a rural potter who yearns for a different life. As an undergraduate I interned for Rod, and I reached out to him for advice regarding the world of web journals, receiving that as well as this exquisite story. We are pretty sure that having both Rick Moody and R.T. Smith in our Summer Issue puts it in a league with 2 Fast 2 Furious, at the very least.
Complementing the efforts of these two heavyweights, and putting us neck and neck with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, are stories from emerging writers Claire Siebers and Bridgette Shade. In Ms. Siebers’s first published work, “Things I’ve Learned About Larry,” she explores the companionship and developing sympathy of a cancer patient. In “Marble Head,” Ms. Shade exerts a similar compassion in showing us what it’s like to be a “tomato woman.”
We would also like to acknowledge Matt Boelsche and Elena Lacey, the artists who gave us the final push we needed to challenge the likes of The Dark Knight and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan for the sequel throne. Mr. Boelsche’s “Driftwood” character has adorned both of our covers thus far, and is quickly becoming the de facto mascot for Story|Houston, in part because he resembles a fusion of Houston literary icon Donald Barthelme and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. Ms. Lacey’s story artwork, including that of a wild turkey studied by a fawning hipster, continues our tradition of unabashed, on-the-nose illustrations. We hope you share our enthusiasm for them. Lastly, you can continue to support our non-profit literary efforts by donating with the button below.
THANKS TO ALL, AND GOOD READING!
Editor and Co-Founder