Kindle Advent Calendar: Day 13 – Silent Night

Photography: stop.down

Silent Night
by João Barreiros
infinityplus: OriginalKindle-friendly ((The Kindle-friendly version is NOT hosted on my site; this is a CGI script that filters the more annoying framing HTML from the story text. You can still save the filtered HTML and convert it for your Kindle (with some help from Amazon). And remember, don’t distribute this thing.))

I tend to like surreal fiction, and this story is what may be termed “gonzo futurism.” Think a strong dose of Hunter S. Thompson mixed with near-future science fiction; or for short cut, think Warren Ellis.

In the twenty fifth year of this endless war, on the banks of Lake Saimaa, I finally killed my first Santa Claus. It was pure luck… honestly.

I put together a very short ruby program to pick random sentences from a block of text, sort of a way to preview sans context ((Spoilers.)) a book in quick bites to get a sense of the language and, with enough samples relative to the size of the text, theme and style.

Here’s what we’ve got to work with:

Automatics usually jam, where magic rules.

On the table there lie the comic my father tore up in an educational rage when I was seven, which I never saw again, and the passenger aeroplane kit, with take-off flashing lightslights, that someone gave to a school chum.

One survivor…

They blot out the pilot’s field of vision, who by force of circumstances has neither radar nor an automatic pilot to assist him.

My instructors told me that getting what you always want is like dying a little, like losing the ability to wish for the impossible.

As if pacifism could prevent violence.

A fire of crackling pine cones burns in the open hearth.

Not the holiday usual by a long shot.

S∂’s full 2008 Advent Calendar.