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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories welcomes...

Jeffrey Penn May

Jeffrey was born in California, but St. Louis is his home town. He’s had a truly bewildering series of careers and undertaken an impressive series of voyages. He’s won many awards for short fiction and his novel has been well received.

We hope Jeffrey will pardon our abbreviating the title of his story “Nuclear Power and the Civil War Lizards” on the home page; its length would cause the index to pop a seam! The story itself may cause readers to do the same; it’s hellzapoppin surrealism.

Some may question whether the story oversteps Bewildering Stories’ guideline against plots that end with “but it was all a dream” or the equivalent. From this editor’s point of view, it’s no dream; it’s all in a day’s work. I see the story as parodying or even satirizing submissions we sometimes receive that are redolent with obscure allusions.

Does the glossary recited by the “lizards” come an an anticlimax? On the contrary, it’s a mercy to the readers and puts the story over the top. It illustrates why I often have to refer contributors to “Brand Names and Cultural References.”

I suppose we could refer contributors to Jeffrey’s story, but the tactic might backfire. I can just hear them now: “Totally cool! I shall proceed to load my story with stuff that readers will surely have never heard of!” Nono, please don’t do that! Jeffrey’s self-recursive story follows obliquely in the footsteps of Zombo and Zomba, and it humorously nails the lid on the obscurantist approach once and for all.

Jeffrey Penn May’s bio sketch can be found here.

Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Jeffrey. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!

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