Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dead. Nude. Girls., by Lori Selke

Dead. Nude. Girls.
Lori Selke
Strange Horizons: February 12, 2007

We've seen the signs. Live Nude Girls. Typically this is the only advertisement for some sort of Strip club or a "Gentleman's" Club. Live Nude Girls. Well, what if they were Dead Nude Girls? That's the question which Lori Selke answers in her story Dead. Nude. Girls. The club has dancers on stage performing various routines for the patrons of that establishment, but the girls are dead. They look cold to the touch, blue lips, and are simply dead.
This dead girl is the best stripper he's ever seen. He will tip big.

All the girls in the club are dead. The sign out front flashes neon, three simple words: Dead. Nude. Girls.
Dead. Nude. Girls. is a story about a man who frequents this particular club and about one of the dead dancers who he takes an interest in. Lily is just like a live girl, except she's not.
Jim can't bear to look at the other customers. It's bad etiquette in a strip bar, but that's not the reason he avoids their gaze, tries to position himself so that he can't even see them out of the corner of his eye. He doesn't want to know what kind of guy prefers to come to a zombie bar. He doesn't want to remember what brought him here in the first place, before Lily.
It's fascinating story of love and undeath and an odd twist on I guess what could be called as the zombie genre, only not so much in the case of Dead. Nude. Girls. Because we know Lily is dead, and a stripper, there is a bit of the grotesque, but like the scene of a car crash we cannot look away. It makes us uncomfortable. And unlike, perhaps, a car crash, we do not want to look away because Selke's story is really good and one which holds the reader's attention until the last word.

Very much recommended.

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