Hi, I'm Sidney Thompson, the author of Sideshow. First, I'm grateful to be a Litblog Co-op finalist, so thank you, everyone, for nominating my collection (Jeff Bryant), voting for it, reading it, and giving it (so far) such high praise. Happy stuff.
Now, for today, as if I'm not grateful, I'm asking for more. As the day's guest blogger, I'm inviting any and all questions and comments about Sideshow as a whole, or the stories in particular. I'm always fascinated by readers' reactions to my work. Often I get the sense that people are hesitant to admit their reactions. (I've come to that conclusion based primarily on the queerly vague, sometimes highly positive, rejection notices I've received over the years from countless magazines and literary journals). It's obvious, I suppose, that I'm making an effort in each story to be, at some level, sensational, to elicit the reader's emotions, but my goal might be less obvious: to encourage an honest self-examination as to why the reader responded with laughter or with shock or with embarrassment, etc., and for him or her to consider what this says behaviorally or philosophically about his or her assumptions, or biases, or about our human state in general.
My father disowned me for writing one of the stories in this collection. What will your reaction be?