I am very pleased to announce that two more of my stories will be published very soon, albeit as re-prints: “Sudan” and “Decision”. Both will be published by “Through the Gaps” (http://throughthegaps.com/). On their About page, they describe themselves as follows:
“Benjamin Choi founded Through the Gaps in 2014 with the help of his associate Raghav Mathur. From there, the site expanded to include over twenty original contributors releasing content in several unique categories on a daily basis. Here at TTG, we are dedicated to expressing opinions and starting discussions in a nurturing environment.”
In their submissions guidelines for fiction, they also note:
“We accept fictional stories of all genres. However, above all, we are looking for stories with a powerful message. More specifically, we are looking for stories with powerful comments on the state of our society and/or the human experience. Stories with a political or social message are the best examples of such a story. We are even willing to overlook subpar storytelling or weaker character development if we feel the story’s message is powerful enough.”
As noted, these two stories are re-prints of stories I wrote and had published long ago.
“Sudan” was first published in 2002 by Canadian on-line magazine “Ascent Aspirations, where you can still find it (www.ascentaspirations.com). It was based on a story I heard from a former US assistant agricultural attaché to Sudan, whom I happened to meet when I was touring Luxor, Egypt in 1989. If I recall correctly, we were splitting a horse-drawn carriage ride from the Hotel Jolie Ville, where we both happened to be staying, to the Temple of Luxor. As strangers do when they meet while traveling, we fell into a conversation starting with a basic introduction of ourselves, our professions, and how we happened to be in that locale. From there the conversation deepened and she told me this story that she had heard from two English nurses she happened to meet (I think) in Khartoum. The story was so poignant, that I remembered it for several years and when I started to write fiction. It was one of the first I developed into a short story. I have always loved the story and recently decided to resurrect it along with several others of my first works to see what I could get re-printed. “Sudan” will be published in about a week on the “Through the Gaps” website.
“Decision” is a very poignant tale as well. It was first published in 2004 by “Spoiled Ink”, an English hard-copy magazine based in Denmark. It is not based on any actual event. Instead it was an idea I developed while thinking about racism and how feelings about race have changed since I was a boy. I based it in Kentucky simply because that is the culture I knew as a boy, although the story is set in eastern Kentucky and I grew up in central Kentucky (for those not familiar with the state). I wanted to write a story, in a sense, like Hemingway did in his early short stories using the culture and background with which he was familiar. He could bring out the crunch of leaves as one went hunting or almost make the aromas of the forest almost come alive. So I endeavored to do the same. I don’t know exactly how I came up with the idea for the hunt that takes place. I may have been inspired by “The Most Dangerous Game” or a similar tale. I don’t think you can find “Spoiled Ink” any more. It may be defunct. If so, this will be the only place you will be able to read this story. It will appear in two weeks.
If you get a chance, check out “Through the Gaps” even before my stories appear. It seems to be a very eclectic, nurturing site with a lot of positive energy to it.
Considering the description of what they want as stated on their submissions page, I feel very honored to have my works published on their site.