“Science Fiction,” by Kevin Dickinson

Aug 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Just by the way the envelope felt in his hand, Lawrence Breton knew what it contained.

“Another rejection letter, of course,” he said, tossing it unopened into the fire. This was not the fireplace with the white brick, the medieval logs, the eloquent wrought-iron grate, and the Kodiak rug: that was the one he thought he’d have by now. It wasn’t that he couldn’t afford it, but that he only wanted to buy it with book royalties. Lawrence Breton was arriving at the opinion that all publishers were soulless reptiles whose categorical genocide of science fiction writers was the greatest literary misunderstanding of the century. He did not write science fiction, and often told this to his toaster in disgust. His sole aspiration was the fireplace: catalog-pure, cabin-worthy, metaphysically warm. Readership, acclaim, and wealth to him were waning obsolete as he became daily more fixated on the idea of the fireplace. It would symbolize all that he had achieved as a writer, remind him like a trophy of its own cost in labor, be a manifest of his own brilliance. His current fireplace was forever consuming his failures, growing in ugliness and its permanence creeping upon him like poison ivy.

Lawrence Breton had to do something. He teleported to his kitchen and took a lunch pill, told his toaster to stop gossiping about the microwave, and strapped on his jetpack.

He uttered his mantra: “I’m not a science fiction writer.” Grabbing his ray gun, he blasted off for Random House headquarters.


Kevin Dickinson, founding editor of the dormant Writers’ Bloc (writersblocmag.com), is trying to determine what he wants to be when he grows up. It’s definitely not Bridge Painter or Yurt Builder. Or Cat Technician. He cannot find any openings for Senior Gold Bullion Receiver. He has been published in Bartleby-Snopes, LITnIMAGE, and Foundling Review. He enjoys rain but not cheese

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