“Slush” by Joshua Cohen
Not sure if anybody’s noticed, but I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I like getting turned onto new stuff, sure, but once I’ve found something I like I tend to stick by it like a truly neurotic compulsive or perhaps like a faithful hound. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I was very happy to learn that Joshua Cohen, whose multi-part Nextbook essay about Kafka’s office writing I covered here, has a new piece of short fiction up at The Fanzine, which is a very cool site and probably not as widely known as it ought to be. So do yourself two favors: first, check out Cohen’s story, “Slush,” and second, start checking on Fanzine more often than you’ve been. (if you want to do yourself a third favor, pink up a copy of The Weaklings, Dennis Cooper’s most recent collection of poems, which Fanzine published in a special illustrated limited edition of unlimited awesomeness.) Here’s the beginning of “Slush.”
Dear Aaron Priestly,
Thank you for letting us take a read on your manuscript. STORY OF MY LIFE was bold, and compelling, but ultimately I was not convinced that I was the right person to represent it. I just did not find this a must read. It did not click, I regret to inform. Nor did it hold ME. I find your premise lacking, quite. Good luck elsewhere (*I can no longer accept queries from writers who have not been previously published or who have not been referred to me by a colleague*).
Please accept my very best wishes for the success of STORY OF YOUR LIFE. Though I did not fall in love with your story enough to continue reading it, I pass. We must pass. Obviously not for me, obviously. He, she, it, passes.