Introduction by the editor.
The Story Begins...
“It was a dark and stormy night...” Or “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” Or "Call me Ishmael...” Or “Midway in our life's journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood...” Or “James Bond, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and thought about life and death....” Or “It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him...” Or “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin...” Or “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect...” Or “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife...” Or “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun...” Or “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins...”
Stories begin. And draw us in. Great beginnings sometimes lead nowhere, but many times they lead us to fascinating places. And sometimes they are left behind by the writer, too busy moving down other paths to other destinations.
Writers write a lot of beginnings. And many writers pass from this earth without finding endings for all of their many beginnings. Also, sometimes, actually oft times, a writer is too close to the beginning to see if it leads anywhere and so leaves the tale by the side the road. Then, perhaps, it takes some reader to say, “Hey, this is leading some place I want to go.”
This latest issue of Nebula contains four beginnings––beginnings of narratives. One of them has wound its way to its ending (and was published by Quarry Press); the fate of others I do not know and have not asked. You’ll have to ask the author, Barry Grills. Email him and let him know if you want to know. (No writer resents emails asking for more.) What I do know is that I would gladly follow any of them to wherever they lead.
Barry Grills is a well established figure on the Canadian literary scene, and biographical information is available on the Writers Union Of Canada website. But it isn’t a writer’s past that matters, it’s the new beginnings. These four tales have beginnings that are as different as one could possibly imagine and start the reader down very different roads, but all certainly beckon us on.
"Sometimes, Jan, I want to tell the world how much I’m in love with you. Then again, maybe it’s not the world I want to tell..." Or "The best nights on the Liberty Freeway are when the moon is full, when the moon rises over the freeway frenzy and claws its way into the black soup of the waiting sky..." Or "The gray wolf moves southwest, downwards out of higher country..." Or "The trouble with you, Peter, is you think destiny is our friend, that fate is on our side, that it will ultimately give us what we want..."
Barry Grills also has a website at www.barrygrills.com