Narration first appeared at and produced by Starship Sofa. Special thanks to Tony Smith and Diane Severson for their kind permission to resyndicate this award nominee.
26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss
By Kij Johnson
She sets a stepladder next to it. She claps her hands and the 26 monkeys onstage run up the ladder one after the other and jump into the bathtub. The bathtub shakes as each monkey thuds in among the others. The audience can see heads, legs, tails; but eventually every monkey settles and the bathtub is still again. Zeb is always the last monkey up the ladder. As he climbs into the bathtub, he makes a humming boom deep in his chest. It fills the stage.
And then there’s a flash of light, two of the chains fall off, and the bathtub swings down to expose its interior.
About the Author
Since her first sale in 1987, Kij Johnson has sold dozens of short stories to markets including Amazing Stories, Analog, Asimov’s, Duelist Magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Realms of Fantasy. She won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short story of 1994 for her novelette in Asimov’s, “Fox Magic.” In 2001, she won the International Association for the Fantastic in the Art’s Crawford Award for best new fantasy novelist of the year. Her short story “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change” was on the final ballot for the 2007 Nebula Award and the World Fantasy Award, and it was a nominee for the Sturgeon and Hugo awards. In 2009, she won the World Fantasy for “26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss,” which was also a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula. She won the 2010 Nebula for “Spar,” the 2011 Nebula for “Ponies” (also a finalist for the Hugo and World Fantasy). In 2012, she won both the Nebula and Hugo for “The Man Who Bridged The Mist.”
About the Narrator
Diane Severson is a lyric soprano specializing in Early Music, especially Baroque and medieval music. She is a dedicated teacher of singing (taking her cues from her mentor the late Cornelius Reid and his long-time student and mentor in her own right Carol Baggott-Forte). She is the mother of a young multi-linguist and married to her very own Rocket Scientist.
Diane has been blogging on this and that since 2005 and has been involved in the SF Poetry Scene (yes, it’s a thing) since 2010. She has narrated for the StarShipSofa Podcast Magazine (StarShipSofa.com, part of the District of Wonders Network) since Tony C. Smith started running fiction and found out that she reads aloud to her husband. She quickly became his go-to-girl when he wanted poetry read. As a result of that affinity with poetry, and because she does her best work when she has a Cause (a budding superheroine?), she decided to become Science Fiction Poetry’s Spokesperson. She produces the sporadic podcast, which runs as part of StarShipSofa, called Poetry Planet and is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association for which she ran the 2012 Poetry Contest. She is a staff blogger for Amazing Stories Magazine (amazingstoriesmag.com) focusing on Science Fiction Poetry. She continues to narrate stories for StarShipSofa and other podcasts (notably PodCastle and Tales to Terrify) and has begun getting paying jobs as a voice actor.
The best place to find her is on the web because she tends to pick up and move to another country at the drop of a hat. She and her family currently reside in Paris.