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The No Shit ToC keeps on rolling, rolling, today with a really cool short story by Frances RowatThou Unnecessary Letter.

There are several writers who got a little creative with the required opening line for the anthology, but Frances took it and ran off on the orthogonal. When I started reading the story, I had to wrench my brain around and turn my head sideways to understand what was happening. And then I got it, and it was like a dawning light.

The way one of the slush jackalopes described Thou Unnecessary Letter is: “Magical alphabet noir.” That’s about the most accurate way I could think to describe it, myself. It’s a story that you imagine in black and white as you read, in which everyone is smoking (even if they’re not) and unironically wearing classic hats.

I’m at a loss to describe more about this story because I love it, and so much of that love comes from discovering how Frances played with the idea, with the opening line, and telling you more about it would just ruin the delight of unfolding all the complexity that she somehow managed to hide in 2000 words. Every time I read it over, I find something new that makes me say think oh.

This is a story I’m actively jealous I didn’t write. (And I don’t think I could have.)

So if you want to know what I’m babbling about, you’re just going to have to support the Kickstarter and make sure all your friends do too, so you can read it.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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