Read This: “Bugs in the Arroyo” by Steven Gould

by Irma Arkus

Tor Books publishing had a brilliant idea, and since 2008, they decided to throw us a bone. A literary bone. Their occasional short stories, available for free on site, prompt readers to a) read more brilliant short stories, and b) get introduced to new, brilliant writers they would never have heard of, and finally c) visit Tor Books and glance at their latest offerings.

This is, in my humble opinion, a win win win win for everyone involved, and all it took was a little digital magic, and some “open source reading.”

Latest offering is that of Stephen Gould’s “Bugs in the Arroyo,” a short story about a society confronted with a sudden metal scarcity, due to a metal-eating invasive species. A la “Creature of the Pit” with Tom Baker, if you may, Stephen Gould writes some fine, imaginative stuff.

Responsible for writing the ever popular “Jumper” (yes, the movie with the one we dare not speak his name) Gould has been enchanting us for a while. Nice to see his flexed muscles on some rather smaller bit, like “Bugs in the Arroyo.” Illustration is by Mark Zug, a master of fantastic meets cool, whose illustrations are quite frankly, breathtaking (yes, yes! like the baby!).