While they’ve both been around the traps for a while, Nick Lachmund and Lydia Trethewey are two authors who have very distinct differences in their approach to storytelling.
Nick Lachmund’s talent is to present a world that is both consistent, authentic and maddening. The horror of the labyrinth of civilization Nick’s characters often find themselves in is only compounded by the fact that it is so reflective of our world. Heritage, or the sins of our fathers, is also a recurrent theme in Nick Lachmund’s writing. It’s no more present than in his story for the 2017 Science Fiction Award, Sunday:
I visited my grandfather last Sunday. He’s 85 now. He looks like he’s 105. Every time I see him he tells me how lucky I am to live in this age. He talks about homeless people being all over the streets and crimes being committed in broad daylight. He says the best thing this country did was break away from the bullshit democracy. He thanks the ruling classes for coming over and showing us the way. I used to argue with him, telling him that I would have loved to have lived in a time with freedom of speech and a five day working week. But now I just listen. He’ll be dead soon, not much point in arguing with him.
By contrast, the future worlds of Lydia Trethewey press us with subconscious anxiety. Unlike Nick’s setting, where the present is nominally our present and the past a past we have, to some extent, experienced. Lydia predominantly sets her stories in near futures; the past potentially our real world present day. As is the case in her effort this week, Fever Loss.
Soft lights activated as they walked, twitching nerves of circuitry responding to their bodies. The city was alive, and Alana felt like a dead lump of matter.
A message appeared in the wall’s LED matrix just below their eye-line: this is nobody’s home.
“Ephemera graffiti artists, hacking the wall,” said Claire.
“Hello, ladies,” said a voice behind them.
In other words If the characters in a Nick Lachmund story are shaped by our past, The characters in a Lydia Trethewey tale are shaped by us.
In a two horse race, victory can often seem bittersweet. There’s a reason we pair wine with food, shoes with socks and hearts with one another. It would be lovely to say ‘everyone’s a winner’s and I guess, given the way our Patreon works, that’s entirely possible to some extent.
But there is an actual winner as well, as presented by the judges. And today it goes to Lydia Trethewey, who showed us the future isn’t brighter, just washed in more LED. Congratulations Lydia 🙂
Up now is the shortlist for the Avocado With Interest Award. Another two horse race, check it out here.