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Short Stories 365:291

I didn't sleep last night. I mean that literally. Sometimes my sleep issues pop up in an absolute fashion, and an entire night goes by where I realize, early on, that there will be no sleep. At all.

After sleep clinics and various options (chemical or behavioral), I've mostly come to be okay with my wobbly relationship with sleep. I can - and do - now spend hours in bed where I lie there, awake, knowing I'd rather be sleeping, but not fighting with myself over the lack of sleep. I relax. I drift and ponder story ideas, or I write (and re-write) scenes in my head. I think about books I've read, or plan out other projects - games, vacations, what-have-you - as a diversion, but not in a strenuous way and without "waking up" to turn on the light or write anything down.

It's not sleep, but it's at least somewhat restful, and though by the late afternoon the next day I'm beat, it's nowhere near the exhaustion I used to feel when I would fight, tooth and nail, to fall asleep.

Some of my best ideas come from these nights. One of them might have happened last night. We'll see what grows from the germ.

Wonderful today was the news that my Reading Round Up Q & A went live at Indie Reviews, alongside an incredibly positive review. I adore Indigene, and it's funny that she called me her "go-to" for book reviews because I consider her the very same thing.

Aren't book people awesome?

"The Dybbuk of Mazel Tov IV," by Robert Silverberg

After this story, I'm only one more story away from the end of Beyond the Sun, which is a little saddening, but I've really enjoyed the ride, so the greater positive exists. If you're at all a fan of SF, I could already have told you this collection is worth it, but today's story was yet another checkmark on the "buy the book" column.

Taking Jewish heritage and spinning it into a science fiction short story set on another world where intelligent alien life exists is already a decent idea, but to do so and spin the notion of a Dybbuk - a spirit whose guilt from actions in life prevents them from moving to the afterlife - and this alien race intersecting is just marvelous. When a man who has passed on finds himself in the green furred body of one of these aliens, the cold shock of the reality of this situation to the narrator - especially as a not-particularly religious Jew - is heavy.

There's a sly humour to this story as well as a decent dose of social commentary about the sometimes overly strict (and sometimes overly lax) world of religious belief, and I have to say Silverberg led me through this story in a way that left me with a wide smile on my face.

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