The 24 Hour Brother

Just a heads up for interested readers:  my short story, The 24 Hour Brother, is now available to read in the new issue of Apex Magazine.

You can read it by clicking here.

The story is an odd one.  Two things formed the story initially: one for form, one for feeling.  1.) I’d been wanting to write a story in which the life cycle of a human being was completed within a very few pages, and to hopefully, maybe, achieve some kind of emotional resonance over the occurrence despite the brevity of their stay.  2.)  With that in mind, I happened to read an essay by Joyce Carol Oates in which she talks about the “life-lie” we all tell ourselves.  The necessary delusion that lets us go on living as we live, doing what we do.

It’s not a terribly uplifting story, I’m afraid, but I hope it resonates, even if it doesn’t uplift.


Thanks for reading.



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6 responses to “The 24 Hour Brother”

  1. Nin Andrews Avatar
    Nin Andrews

    I love it!

    1. Christopher Barzak Avatar

      Hurray! 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Alisa Avatar

    Very neat. Love the line, “his skin had loosened and now fell down like dress socks.” But the bit that gave me the heaviest emotional hit was when they watched him sleep but didn’t dare themselves – that made it all real: “We couldn’t sleep even though Joe was sleeping soundly. We could only stay where he was and watch him growing.”

    1. Christopher Barzak Avatar

      Thanks for the kind words, Alisa! I’m glad you liked the story!

      It’s good to see you on here again, too. I hope you’ve been doing well.

      1. Alisa Avatar

        Not blogging much, but well. I went to Clarion West this summer and one of my post-CW goals is to read more short stories. It’s easier to meet that goal when I see a story by an author that I’ve come to through novels and already enjoy. SFF stories seem to come in vast and varied forms, and it’s hard to put my finger on what comprises the kind I like. I guess everybody reads for their own reasons.

      2. Christopher Barzak Avatar

        I think that’s something I like about SFF short stories more than I do SFF novels. The short form has so much more variation. The novel form is largely dictated by market forces and trends. Not much gets published that publishers don’t already think they can sell so many copies of, etc. So it makes for a lot more homogeneity than the short story’s more diverse playing field. Congrats on doing Clarion-W!

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