Funny story: I was thinking about my blog and how I haven’t felt like I’ve had enough time to read and review short fiction lately (or just haven’t been interested, I’m not sure which), and so I down loaded a Pseudopod story to listen to while on the elliptical trainer instead of techno. Well, I couldn’t have picked a worse story to keep my motivation up to finish 30 minutes. Oh, I finished, but the tick-tock time obsessed prose that Jamieson wrote tortured me with every sweaty minute.
The main character is a haunted comic book storywriter and artist. When the minutes begin to build and he is trapped in a room with only his pen, his thoughts, and desperate need to bring the series some sort of climatic finality, no unlike The Shining’s Jack, he draws clocks repeatedly. However, instead of becoming a raving murderous loon, he simply disappears from his family life.
His wife knows how important this comic is to his life. She seems to understand that the time obsession is really a deep seeded desire to have spent more time with and understanding his father. The clocks and all of the characters, representing some aspect of time or relativity, are really his attempt to understand himself and his place in time, with without his father.
The prose is sharp and full of clock and time references that build a horrible machine that cannot be stopped without the obligatory quest. His wife pulls him out of bed one restless night and demands they go the Citadel, the clock museum where he spent many youthful days. He is frightened to visit it. It holds more memories than he can bear. Yet, he knows, as his wife knows, he will never have an ending until he faces his fears.
The story is good. I just wish I would have picked a better time to listen to it. Ha! There is no time like the present.
Jamieson, Trent. Clockwork. Pseudopod, 115, November 7, 2008