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Fiction for the Handlers
New Ledford's Review of Doomfawn
[A kind reader has taken the time to review some of my rarely appreciated fiction. My comments are in brackets.]

Mr. LaFond,
A very wise short essay, your "My Handlers" post. Your behaviour as you describe it is exemplary, so far as I can see, and a good lesson. They're going to need a replacement for Orange Man and they need people to do things they shouldn't. Anytime any of us find ourselves on the fringes, we will meet crazy people. And those who prey upon the crazy. This can happen just being a pedestrian in a car city, in my experience and yours, from what I've read.
"I am just a weirdo writing weird tales and histories that almost no one cares about. I seek fewer readers, not more." Fiction is the way to go, few are writing anything serious, very few are reading it, and no one who matters cares. Almost impossible to get yourself in trouble. It is also the most important art so long as writing survives and can be read. I haven't yet read your fiction, though I've purchased DoomFawn because I liked the cover. I'm going to make a New Year's resolution to read one LaFond novel a week and write a review which I'll send you by email. You may then delete, dispose, post, or publish it as you will. I enjoy reading and writing, but I have no ideas in my little head so I need someone to give me a topic. You write them as fast as I can read them, so I'm sure I'll never run out.
No need to respond to this email, save your eyesight for better things.
Sincerely,
New Ledford

7:51 PM (3 hours ago)
Here's a short review of DoomFawn, copied below. Enjoyed the stories, good reads.
I need the threat of shame to force myself to do more than a paragraph. How do you write so much? Is it a benign brain tumor? Can I get one, or am I too old now?
Regards,
New Ledford
[I suspect it is a terminal brain tumor and don't know how I got it.]
DoomFawn
James Lafond
Four stories of four men on the outside. The first an immigrant looking on at the chaos, the last three swept up in it. Alienation is overt in the first, the protagonist is a stranger watching sadly. It’s an affecting little tale, and tells well a story too common in the present.
The last three men face worse. None of them a part of whatever makes a man a success in the worlds they inhabit. None of them entirely a master of his own fate, and each in great part subject to uncaring forces human and otherwise beyond his control or understanding. Each of them in his own way trying to make the best of the situation according to his own lights and none of them a hero. None are Hercules or Robin Hood, none strike a blow for justice, they just sort of do what most readers might do in their place.
The second story hits hard. Benjamin Long is cursed. He falls into good things, gets comfortable, and is devoured. I won’t go into details because it takes the fun away. Not fun, exactly, but the shiver of knowing that he could very well be you and probably would be you if you were he. One day you likely will be him. A very middling man, like most of us, unremarkable, but granted moments of satisfaction. Which is nice because things will get worse. The most chilling thing, though, is not that the universe hates him. It’s that each misfortune is on him. He’s an unremarkable man in remarkable situations and he ain’t up to it. You probably aren’t either. And you won’t listen to people who tell you to stay away from things beyond you. Enjoy the ride.
Luther of the third story has made something of himself despite every disadvantage and despite getting old and starting late. Unfortunately, he’s taken up astronomy. The sky hides terrible secrets. The moon is worst of all. Something is wrong with him, and somehow he loses jobs and status, sliding down the human scale. He goes from professor to shiftless boarder as an odd physical ailment destroys the work ethic he’d kept from his blue-collar days. None of the habits of deference and diligence save him and he loses all the wisdom of his years. There may, however, be compensations…. This is a good variation on an old fable with a character fit for the role. He’s an everyman, not a Dr. Jekyll, undeserving of his miseries. But just desserts are not exactly what the story’s about
The last story is the closest to hope you’ll get from the author. A Jeremiah-like prophet is to be whipped by his betters as his people cheer. His only bitter hope is to witness the doom he foresees. He wakes from his scourging in the midst of ruin. The barbarian avatars of his prophecy and of the dark fantasies of his tormentors arrive. He’s given a chance, such as it is.
All the stories are good reads, particularly the second and third. Don’t read them looking for redemption. Read them because you like reading stories about men like you in bad places.

Thank you, New Ledford.
The link to Doomfawn is below. If you do not want to give $ to the South American River, then most of this fiction is in a slightly rougher form under the title Riding the Nightmare available as an ebook on this site.
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