A "random click" today brought me to Enizagam's website, only to discover that I had won the journal's short story prize. Quite a surprise. I am thrilled that short story writer Diane Cook liked my piece, which is certainly outside the traditional boundaries of "literary short story."
Here's what she had to say about the story, which will be published this fall.
"Even though I generally prefer traditional stories, I couldn’t resist the sharp and boundless imagination shown in the piece, “Emergent Norm Theory and Post-Climate Change Impact: Appendix A” by Ashley Shelby. For all the stories it hints at but doesn’t tell, it is full and rich. I laughed at the wit of it while wincing at a kind of future truth. The author is nailing something on the head while piercing something in us. Perhaps the world won’t look exactly like this, but it’s not going to look like it does now. The wonder of speculative fiction is that we can create an imagined future to both warn us of, and help us become comfortable with, the real future we can’t yet know. What is great and successful about this piece is how familiar the future looks even under the wreckage of catastrophes to come. The people of the future are still trying to connect with one another, and with the natural world. Still trying to find love, safety, comfort, success. Still trying to storify, make sense of, monetize the dreary future. The people of the future are environmental refugees and sightseers, beggars and investors; they give or they won’t give, they welcome or they keep out. We’re reminded that even though the world might become unrecognizable—with new rules, terms, regions, realities to learn—we people will carry on as we always have. Which, of course, is the root of the problem. But also, in a piece like this, it is a genuine small comfort. Shelby has built a brand new broken world. Any one of these asides I’d willingly follow. Drawn together, in broad strokes and carefully chosen details, they paint a compelling, funny, terrifying portrait of a possible future."