Monday, February 7, 2011

You know you're hooked when...

The other night I had a fairly vivid dream about retelling Frederik Pohl's classic SF story 'The Day After The Day The Martians Came' at Once Upon a Slam. It's strange, because so far I haven't really been able to picture telling a literary story. I know that people do it, but somehow it just didn't seem like the kind of thing I could do. I couldn't really imagine doing anything but personal stories.

But then on Saturday night I was talking to my friend Simon - who wanted to be at the last story slam but couldn't - and somehow the subject came up of telling a Lovecraft story. I think it was because the last slam's Sacrificial Teller was Marie Bilodeau, and she did a story inspired by 'The Shunned House.' And it suddenly struck me that you could do some Lovecraft stories in five minutes... you'd just have to pick your story. Simon hadn't really realized that you could tell a literary story - someone else's work - and I told him yeah, sure, you could do any kind of story: folk tales, ghost stories, literary stories... you could even do 'The Statement of Randolph Carter' if you thought you could get it into five minutes...

And I think I'd been thinking along those lines. Anyway, I woke up the other morning out of a dream in which I was at the slam, ready to get up, and running the "Martian jokes" that are central to Pohl's story through in my head. Reminding myself that I didn't need to remember all of them as long as I remembered enough. Trying to figure out how to deliver the zinger of a last line.

Ruthanne, who runs the slam, will probably be pretty pleased about this.

She's created a monster.


  1. Ottawa is SlamCity. It is unavoidable. (and why would you want to?)

  2. Woo, hoo, dreaming about Once Upon A Slam! My work here is done.

    Just to clarify, literary stories are cool, but OAUS is not about recitations. So, rather than memorizing a story word for word and reciting it, tell it in your own words.