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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories discusses...

Near Zero

with Mickey J. Corrigan

Dear Don:

Wow! I was pleased to find you have been serializing Natan Dubovitsky’s Near Zero, the satirical account of Russian life that is purported to be by a Kremlin insider writing under a pen name. I was looking for the novel a while back and couldn’t find an English translation. This one is terrific. A gripping read and so funny, yet an accurate playbook for the American autocracy at this point.

If the author is indeed Vladislav Surkov, I think he has wasted his literary talents working for the regime. He’s an astute and gifted novelist. I laughed out loud a number of times at the realistic absurdity of his observations. I’ve taken the liberty of listing below some of my favorite lines (so far).

Congratulations on including this novel in your publication. I’m honored to have my work in issues in which Near Zero appears.

Some favorite lines:


Mickey J. Corrigan

[Don W.] Thank you, Mickey! If I may return the compliment, I think your “Trigger Warnings” are America’s Near Zero. The two stories are both provocative.

The two are very different in structure, of course. Near Zero is like a series of chapters that are related thematically, at best. “Trigger Warnings” is really a long short story, and its structure is that of a diary. For that reason, I want to cram it all into the spring quarter rather than let it be interrupted in mid-flight by the Second Quarterly Review.

I foresee that “Trigger Warnings” will “pull the triggers” of a lot of readers. Some will find Springfield Andrisson — and, possibly, everyone in the story — appalling. Others will sympathize with her, and still others will take her as a call to arms, whether literally or figuratively.

I’ll try to keep up with the story in the Challenges, which are typically conversation-starters. Sadly, most authors and readers are unaware of them. Nonetheless, I want to be able to say at the end that they’ve given everyone fair warning.

Copyright © 2020 by Mickey J. Corrigan
and Bewildering Stories.

Responses welcome!

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