“The early blots had been easy to identify. They were too handsome, for one thing.” (Out There by Kate Folk)
This is a story about indistinguishably lifelike robots released by criminals to lure people into relationships on dating apps and in real life, in order to gain access to their credit cards and bank accounts. Or is it? It has a very dry line of wit just below the surface and a lot about not knowing whether someone is real sounds suspiciously like normal life for a woman of a certain age looking for love. There’s a lot more to it than that. It’s terrifically enjoyable in a grim, somewhat hopeless way.
“Kate Folk is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.” (The New Yorker)
Okay, you know I’m promoting our own book but really, send someone any book of your choice. There’s still time and Amazon will gift wrap it for you if you click “contains a gift” in the checkout process. You can also customise the message. How about this for a message, “Dear … I’m sending you this copy of New Short Stories 11 for your Christmas present. It’s fabulous and so are you.”
Ahem! So, yes, you can order the book we’re trying to hypnotise you into ordering by clicking this link (Book Depository, a subdivision of Amazon, free delivery worldwide) or this link (Amazon .com) or this link (Amazon UK).
Here’s the start of one of the stories, hopefully to intrigue and fascinate you*. When you finish reading this you will awake, go and order the book and remember nothing about what you read here. 1. 2. 3. Awake!
“I could hear my father singing in the lower field. In between the lines of the poorly-sung Joe Dolan number he would call for me, each time more demanding, though he did not bother to draw near to where I actually was, which was at the back of the house, pegging his newly-washed clothes to the line. I knew I’d give in eventually to his calls, but I wanted him to hurt his voice as much as possible with the screeching.”