Delighting in Omission; Memories of Trauma

Yes, that subject line is cryptic. I don’t expect much traffic because I’m not a consistent blogger in subject or in posting frequency. But I refuse to give more traffic or words to a crappy attention-seeking “movement.”

Instead, let’s talk about the Nebulas!

So happy to see Annihilation won for Best Novel. It’s been a while since I read something that so completely filled me with creeping dread from start to finish. Bad ASS. Also, in addition to its being an awesome book, I picked it up during an awful time in my life. My folks had come to visit. They are/were getting a little creaky, but my dad has been a motorcycle enthusiast practically from inception, and insisted on driving out his latest and most beloved acquisition, his first ever Harley. I also was around 8 weeks pregnant at that time, and A. and I told them about the baby early on in the visit. At the end of the week, we kissed them good-bye and I drove to work with the motorcycle headlight in my rear-view mirror. The headlight turned left onto a side road, and they headed home.

Two hours later, I got a call from my dad. “I’m okay,” he said over and over. “I’m at the hospital in [nearby town]. We had an accident.”

They’d rolled the bike at a poorly marked intersection. The shiny new Harley was a twisted wreck. My mom was pretty beat up, but walking on two sprained ankles. Dad, on the other hand, had a broken pelvis, various cracks, dings, and scratches, and road rash that darkened his thigh flesh to the color of plums. Their helmets were mashed.* Dad was transferred to a larger hospital about an hour away. My sister drove out to help, and we and my mom spent the next week shuttling back and forth to be with Dad. Apparently that was enough time for him to heal enough to make it back home without OD-ing on pain meds.

We kept on keeping on as best we could. A. and I went to our baby checkup and we heard Baby E’s heartbeat for the first time. I cried a lot. We watched a lot of light TV and I provided my mom, who spent most of the week curled up on our couch with her swollen ankles elevated, with a ton of reading material. For myself, I picked up Annihilation. It occurred to me that maybe then was not the best time to start a horror novel? But it was fantastic. It was beautifully written, a wonderful and compelling distraction, and not too close to the shit that was going down in real life. My own narrow navelly-gazing connections to it aside, I am so happy that this book’s excellence has been recognized with an awesome award like the Nebula.

Now to work my way through the rest of the list…

*As a result, whenever I see someone riding their motorcycle without a helmet, I want to smack them. Yeah, freeeeedom, buddy. Whatever. Do your relatives a favor and deal with head protection.

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2 thoughts on “Delighting in Omission; Memories of Trauma

  1. Bike riders without helmets = organ donors. Tis a fact.

    I’d like to read Annihilation but it’s apparently first in a series and I don’t feel up to starting a series. Can it be read standalone? “Jackalope Wives” (short story winner) is amazing, if you haven’t read it.

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    1. Re: organ donors, so true! Or possibly, new candidates for Roose Bolton’s family standard?

      I think Annihilation could probably be read standalone, but reading it made me want more — it’s very stingy (and tantalizing) in what you learn about the world, and about Area X. It seemed a reasonably quick read. And there’s only a couple more books in the series, right? *dangles them* *DAAAAANGLES* “REEEEAD US, DELPHI”

      Still need to check out Jackalope Wives — I have it bookmarked but am being lazy. Also editing! But mostly lazy.

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