Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Featured Writers and Artists

The Featured Artist section on the Ninth Letter website has been an integral part of 9L's web presence, so when we wanted to expand the scope of our original online content, it seemed only natural to open that section to include writers as well. We are thrilled to announce the section will now be known as Featured Writers and Artists! Pieces featured in this section can't be found in the print edition of Ninth Letter. These are Ninth Letter web exclusives.

The inaugural piece, "Tempus Fugitive" is actually a collaboration between 9L contributor Bryan Furuness (more on him in a second) and three other writers, Sarah Layden, Andrew Scott, and Matthew Simmons. The piece is a series of letters written to the Tempus Fugit corporation explaining how the writer of the letter would utilize the company's time travel technology. We love it. We hope you enjoy it, so let us know what you think.

As mentioned above, Bryan Furuness appeared in vol. 6, no. 1 of the print edition with his amazing story "Man of Steel." I also had a chance to interview him about the story for an edition of 5 (or so) Questions. "Man of Steel" is featured in the just released Best American Nonrequired Reading. To celebrate all this Bryan Furuness goodness and to continue with our Fall Back Sale event, below is an excerpt from "Man of Steel."

A commercial changed my life when I was ten years old. I was watching television in my living room, which really meant that I was tossing a basketball in the air distractedly while slipping in and out of daydreams. Sometimes, during commercials, I would sink so far inside my own head that by the time the show came back on, I would have forgotten what I was watching. But this commercial caught my attention. I don't remember what it was selling, but the product's beside the point; the point is the commercial itself.

It began with strange, warbly music and then, rising from a kind of fog, a simple pencil sketch of a man's face, but then it wasn't a man's face at all: it was a creature with large, almond-shaped eyes and a rigid brow and pointy chin. This, said a voice -- deep and pleasant to listen to -- was a creature from outer space, an alien, a traveler from a distant star. "Who knows," said the voice, "what's really out there?"

The basketball fell out of my hands and dribbled away across the carpet. Now a woman looked straight at the camera -- into me -- and explained how, on an ordinary morning, she'd suddenly felt a blast of burning pain in her hand, when, at that exact moment, a thousand miles away, her son had burned himself on the stove.
"Coincidence?" said the voice.
I shook my head.

To read the rest of "Man of Steel" pick up a copy of vol. 6, no. 1 in our webstore. To get it for $5.95, choose, "sample copy, editor's choice" and enter "fall back sale" in the special instructions box.

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