Kong at the Seaside

A riddle: What could possibly be better than an unexpected new book of short fiction turning up in your mailbox?

The answer: When that new book includes short fiction from Zamiatin, Zweig, Zantner, and Zugsmith.

The explanation: As Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast inches ever-closer to its 100th episode (I can hear your audible gasps!), I look at my index page, to make sure that I’m being somewhat diverse in my selection. Many different styles, from different ages, different castes, cultures, ethnicities, genders, and so on. Well, not “many” different genders, just two, but still. The catalogue is filling itself nicely, actually, and I’m pretty proud of this.

But what I’m not proud of, what I can’t live with, and what bothers me more than unbitable hangnails, is the gross underrepresentation of certain letters. Look at H; I used to think H was underrepresented. Sure, Hemingway’s there, but there’s more to H than Hemingway. More distressing, however, is what happens at the end of the alphabet. I’ve got an image to maintain– do you really think I want people thinking I’m x-ist? That I’m biased toward B! That it has anything to do with anything other than issues of letter frequency?

So, in addition to the new book, which is fantastic in itself, Z has a voice at long last.

A cry for help: I’ve only a handful left until the hundredth. Any idea what might fill in those gaps? (Including that “U;” “Unknown” hardly needs more recognition.)

6 thoughts on “Kong at the Seaside”

  1. Thanks for your comments. I’m catching up on your FloodCasts… And don’t worry. My daughter can’t read yet. I think my wife can…

  2. Thank you for the lower-bandwith version!

    If you need another H, you can always go with O. Henry; for V, Kurt Vonnegut; and for Y, I’ve heard of Richard Yates. I’m at a loss when it comes to X–Xenophon? Not exactly thrilling reading.

  3. Re: loband– you are most welcome, and thanks for the reminder. If I need to compress it further (or if it’s compressed beyond recognition), let me know. I’ve got a task list a mile thick for this little site, and going back to make loband versions of everything is, unfortunately, pretty low on it, but if there are any you (or anybody) would especially like to hear, let me know and I’ll push the button. In the meantime, I’ll try to be mindful of this in the future, as long as the lower-band tracks are being heard.

    You’re right; Xenophon -might- be a little racy for the innocence of this podcast… but who’s to say?!

  4. Miette, I’ve been enjoying your commentary almost as much as your readings (though I’m still far behind–and haven’t even listened to all my own recent offerings). You really should be the one writing a book, and I’ll be first in line to buy it.

    I like the idea of an authors’ list and must figure out a way to make one myself. I, too, am sorely lacking in “X” and probably Y and Z, as well. But I do have a “U” to suggest: Bobden Uyl, a Dutch writer whose one story I posted the other day is the only one I’ve ever read–though surely there must be more out there.

    Keep up the keeping up!

    Did Xerxes, the king of abecedaria, ever write anything?

  5. It was a great surprise for me to find this story here, having just read Zweig’s bio in the book “Twenty-two Artists and Two Saints.”
    Thanks, Miette. Your podcasts are a relief to those of us suffering in world of advertising.
    Your podcasts are an oasis.
    They are the quiet space beneath the kitchen sink when the party gets too loud.
    Please carry on.

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