Friday, February 22, 2013

Kindle Spotlight -- The Girl Who Bled Forever

Today I'm looking at an experimental novella: Kent David Kelly's The Girl Who Bled Forever (The Slipstream Chronicles). This book is every bit as macabre as the title suggests, and it's also pretty unconventional.

The story centers around Captain Alan Ramsey, USAF. He's being detained for disobeying orders. What exactly he did is revealed slowly as the story progresses. The plot is told entirely through military records,  meaning there is no real narrator to tell the reader what the protagonist is thinking. I guess you could say it's the literary equivalent of video camera movies like Cloverfield or Paranormal Activity.

Interrogating Captain Ramsey is Anna Morgenstern, a woman he has a relationship some point (since the story is not told entirely in chronological order, we don't really know when their relationship took place). Anna wants to know the details of the year in which Ramsey had to watch a mysterious girl die every night while she (the girl) tried to climb out of a hole in the sky. The details of her daily death are particularly graphic, so people with weak stomachs should beware. Why is this poor girl caught in a never-ending death loop? Ramsey has some theories, but they involve quantum mechanics so they ended up taxing my brain.

The Girl Who Bled Forever runs about 92 pages, so it's not very long. It's mostly the set-up for a much larger story involving time travel and other universes. It's pretty interesting if you can understand Ramsey's narrative, which touches on high-level scientific concepts ranging from Schrodinger's Cat to causality theory. Nevertheless, the story is nicely formatted and the protagonist is a compelling one. I recommend this story to either hardcore sci-fi readers or fans of the TV show The Big Bang Theory (that's me).

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