Monday, July 18, 2011

"Radon's Daughter" in Twit Publishing's Summer/Fall 2011 Pulp! anthology

Twit Publishing’s Summer/Fall 2011 Pulp! Anthology is available through Amazon, Smashwords, or directly from Twit, in print or digital format. It contains 14 stories by authors like Frank Sjodin, Robert Preston, Davin Kimble, and DL Chance and is packed with wonderful weird science fiction and supernatural mystery.

My story “Radon’s Daughter” appears in this anthology. “Radon’s Daughter” is a mystery involving Detective Amerika Weatherford and a time-bending Russian pinball machine. 

Detective Amerika Weatherford is a beautiful, brilliant single mother to a baby girl. When Weatherford’s on a case, it’s always some bizarre, out-of-this-world scenario. I’ve written several stories with Detective Weatherford. Her cases include a serial killer linked to a witch who moonlights as a bartender, a voodoo-tastic gypsy ring that pledges allegiance to an ancient god, and vampiric teenagers born from medical experiments gone bad.

I created Detective Amerika Weatherford many years ago. She’s a character inspired by so many women I’ve encountered who struggle to make it in today’s world while raising children. She’s those women, warped and twisted into a character controversial, imperfect, and shocking. She’s a woman who won’t sacrifice her dream job because she’s a mother. She brings her daughter along on her investigations no matter how dangerous they may be. She rarely sleeps. She smokes and drinks. Detective Amerika Weatherford drags the monsters out of the closet. And she lets them roar in her baby girl’s face.

Why would a woman do this? Why would a woman expose an innocent child to so much danger?

Many would say she’s a terrible mother who makes poor choices. 

I disagree.

Detective Amerika Weatherford exposes her child to monsters just as we all expose our children to monsters. Weatherford’s villains can be compared to our processed food, medication side effects, bullies, and unlimited screen time. We can attempt to shelter our children by killing our tvs, buying organic milk, and enrolling kids in so many after school activities there’s no way they’ll have time to get into trouble. But sooner or later a monster will find its way through the door. If our children don’t experience just a little bit of our poisoned world, how will they learn to protect themselves and future generations from these monsters, and the children of these monsters?  

No, I don’t mean modern mothers should feed their kids a diet of corn dogs and Mountain Dew while pumping second hand smoke through the ventilation system.  But shielding them from all dangers isn’t the answer either. By doing that we create a generation ill-prepared to defend themselves when they reach adulthood and venture out into the world.  

Detective Amerika Weatherford, like the creatures and strange elements of her stories, is pure fiction. But Weatherford’s situation is one many of us can relate to. Detective Amerika Weatherford is on the front line battling her world’s demons as a courageous, intelligent, compassionate, and imperfect mother and hero. She teaches her daughter to face the monsters and that they can be defeated.

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