Podcast Episode 9: Gills

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Welcome back to the Reckoning Press podcast. It’s been ages, but we’re ramping up to a lot of cool new stuff in the coming year and beyond, including lots more podcasts, a fundraiser to increase payrates to 10c/word, $50/page for poetry and pay staff better too, t-shirts, pins, who knows what else. Homebrew recipes. Foraging instructions. Bespoke lectures about culling invasive species. We’re flush with ideas, as we should be, but we’re always looking for more. Drop us a line if you’ve got any?

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Thank you very much for listening.

Hey, it’s me, your sometime host, Michael J. DeLuca. I’m going to read you a short story, “Gills” by Nicholas Clute, from Reckoning 6. If you’d like to read along with me, you can, it’s free online at reckoning.press/gills. The author’s extremely succinct bio goes like this.

[Bio below.]

First I’m going to tell you a little about why I love this story. In it, you will meet two brothers, Allas and Young. Their relationship, the bickering, loving, supportive, competitive relatability of it, is what drew me through from beginning to end. I’ve got younger sisters who I desperately want to make it through this crisis, and the next one, and the one after that. Whenever I get to the end of a submission and find myself surprised it went so quickly, that’s a pretty good sign I’m going to want to publish it. This was like that. It’s 4,200 words and it felt like half that. We all thought it worked particularly well juxtaposed with Nicasio Reed’s story “Babang Luksa”, which is also about family amid risen seas and I encourage you to check out.

The other thing about “Gills” is the surreality, for which I am a sucker. This is a post-collapse future that’s just weird enough I can inhabit it without dragging along all the dread and anticipatory grief and guilt I’ll be bringing with me to the real future. And it’s such a relief!

Here’s hoping it does the same for you.

“Gills” by Nicholas Clute


Author: Nicholas Clute

Nicholas Clute used to be a biologist in the Bay Area, but now lives in the mountains. He’s still a biologist.

Author: Michael J. DeLuca

Michael J. DeLuca is the publisher of Reckoning. He's also involved with the indie ebookstore Weightless Books, and his short fiction has been appearing since 2005 in markets such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Mythic Delirium and Apex. His novella, Night Roll, was a finalist for the Crawford Award in 2020. He lives in the rapidly suburbifying post-industrial woodlands north of Detroit with wife, kid, cats, plants and microbes. Find him on twitter @michaeljdeluca.

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