03 June 2013

"muted" by Jessica Bell

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.


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Damn. That cover reaches out, grabs me, slams me against the computer, and says buy me. I shall follow my instincts. Besides, I like to support Jessica who was kind enough to ask me to contribute an essay to her upcoming book.

Elizabeth Twist said...

It's awesome, right? I mean to ask her who designed it. If she did, well, holy heck. Some people are just multi-talented.

Mina Lobo said...

I agree that it's a stunning cover. Have checked out the blurb and it kinda twisted my gut a bit, as a currently non-singing singer. But I'm trying to stretch myself as a reader and so, with your recommendation, will give it a shot. :-)
Some Dark Romantic

Emily Genther said...

Sounds interesting.

Jessica Bell said...

Thank you so much, elizabeth!!! Wow, so glad you liked it. :-) Yes, I did design the cover myself. I absolutely love to do it. And surprisingly, it's very calming.

Michael, you're awesome. Thank you!

And thanks for your kind comments, Mina, and Emily!

Catherine Stine said...

I was involved in the conversation when Jessica was figuring out the colors, so this is especially cool. Who can resist a good short piece involving music and suspense?!

Elizabeth Twist said...

For those who picked it up, I hope you like it! Jessica, I am impressed by that cover. Beautiful work.

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