Sunday, February 08, 2009

SSS: "The Call Girl Detective"

Lori Selke opens Spicy Slipstream Stories with "The Call Girl Detective". I have to admit that this story is the reason why I wanted to read Spicy Slipstream Stories. Oh, I had no idea what the story was, but see, I read this other story by Lori Selke two years ago and I thought it was several kinds of fantastic. That would be "Dead. Nude. Girls." Since then I've been waiting to run across more of Selke's non-erotica fiction. This was my chance.

So. "The Call Girl Detective."

The first and obvious statement that needs to be made just in case anyone didn't pick up on's a send up of Kelly Link's "The Girl Detective" (available for free download from Link's debut collection Stranger Things Happen), only rather than vaguely examing who the Girl Detective is without ever answering the question, Selke examines who the Call Girl Detective is. Vaguely, and with much more brevity than Link exercises. Without ever getting at who the Call Girl Detective is or why she is a Call Girl Detective.

That's okay. It's part of the format of the story and given the tie to Kelly Link's story, Selke really couldn't (and shouldn't) do anything differently.

What I don't know is how I feel about "The Call Girl Detective". One on hand, it's not "Dead. Nude. Girls." Seriously, folks, that story is worth recommending twice. On the other hand, for the four pages of the story, i do like what's there. There's the dual inherent sadness of a call girl and a detective looking for someone she may never find.

Then there's the last lines of the story.
Everyone wonders what made her become a call girl. Nobody ever wonders why she became a detective.

Yeah. That's why I like it.

I don't know that "The Call Girl Detective" will resonate with everyone. The format of the story is purposefully random. There are topics and semi-explanations about the Call Girl Detective. There are only four pages, but there is curiosity and mystery, a bit of broken-heartedness. I may be projecting on that last bit, but I felt it.

So. I liked it. If it turns out this is the best story in the anthology I'm not sure it'll be quite worth the price of admission, but I'm glad I had the chance to read it. I still want more fiction from Lori Selke, and I'll happily read whatever shows up next, but like the story "The Call Girl Detective" is based on, it might not set readers on fire. It does, however, set the table in a very positive way for the rest of the anthology of spicy slipstream stories. It's fun and clever and sad.

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