I write this blog on the heels of proofing some very gut-wrenching stories and following some disturbing news coverage. Both of these started me thinking about the human condition, and how we try to come to terms with the inevitable frailty that comes with being human.
First, what led me to this introspection?
It began with Oscar Pistorius’ arrest on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend. Pistorius, who inspired us with his courage and determination at the summer Olympics. Pistorius, who lifted our spirits with his story and his hope.
Pistorius, who it turns out was also extremely paranoid (justifiably, perhaps) and who shot his girlfriend through a bathroom door, killing her—intentionally or accidentally, only time and investigation will tell.
But that hope and promise that he inspired are now replaced in the media by a story of human frailty. Another hero, fallen.
On the heels of this sad news, I proofed the remaining two stories for Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Recovering Apollo 8 and Other Stories collection, which is now available through WMG as an ebook. Those stories, June Sixteenth at Anna’s and Craters, have been called “hauntingly sad” and “an intense, appalling, memorable story,” respectively, by reviewers. June Sixteenth at Anna’s addresses the loneliness of loss, while Craters addresses the human potential for disturbing violence.
In other words, it’s been a real happy week around here.
But what the confluence of these events made me ponder is why we are drawn to stories like these. Fiction or nonfiction, we can’t turn away. We need to read about such things. We need to watch such tragedy.
Because we are human, and we need to understand what that means.
What the history books will ultimately have to say about Oscar Pistorius is yet to be written. But if you want to delve into the human psyche and touch on some of the deepest, darkest places in the human soul, I must tell you, few writers have the capability and the skill to transport you like Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Even if, like us, she’s only human.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.