I met Jessica Bell via the A to Z of Coffin Hopping Blogfest or one of those. You know. Those things that bloggers and writers and writers who blog do. She writes speculative stuff, suspense stuff, and music. That music bit is important, because it is much of the reason why Jessica was exactly the right person to write "muted," her latest release through Vine Leaves Press.
Long story short, "muted" is, as the cover says, a short story in verse. Set in a dystopian future in which self-expression through art and dress and (as concerns the main character) music is strictly controlled, the story traces the crisis of Concetta, a singer who has ended up on the wrong side of the law.
"muted" is richly imagined. Jessica doesn't hold back on gory detail - something I always admire. As a science fiction piece, the story has a lot going for it, opening a world's worth of weird and terrible in its short length. The main thing here is the language, though. This is poetry, written by a musician, about a musician. As a whole, "muted" is about art and sacrifice. If you are looking for something that takes sci fi lyricism to its logical extreme, you could do worse. I liked it.