This One Didn’t Make It Into the Stinging Fly Anthology

 I do not generally consider myself a blind man, rather one with full sensory function who is hampered by living in an invisible universe which keeps banging into him and reminding him of its irritating reality as he goes about his day to day life.

– “Sight Reading”

I just learned – through the time honoured method of “faffing mindlessly on my phone” – that yesterday marked the launch of the Stinging Fly Stories anthology. I recognise and enjoy many of the writers on the list. I like The Stinging Fly a lot. It’s an engaging magazine, plus they sent me the funniest rejection ever of my career thanks to Declan Meade. I can’t recall exactly it but a precis: with one murder, one possible rape, a dangerous operation and (something else I can’t recall) the short story might just be a bit, well, busy. Probably a good idea to pivot to being a novelist 🙂

Before that occasion, they accepted a story of mine in 2003. This did not make it into the anthology. (Don’t ask me why I think that is: I would give a clear, definitive but possibly unfair answer. Let’s just go with the usual response that “there are many wonderful stories out there and it’s hard to whittle it down.” SMDH.)

Anyway, this coming to my attention made me dig up the story, and do you know what, it holds up well. Some technological lagging, but I’m pleasantly surprised that one of my juvenilia is of this standard. If nothing else, I’m glad of the chance to reacquaint myself with “Sight Reading”. In honour of the twentieth anniversary of The Stinging Fly, I’m proud to republish it here.

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