Advent Calendar ’16 – December 3rd: THE PSYCHOMETRY OF SNOW by ‘Nathan Burgoine

It’s back! The blog advent calendar. I enjoyed last year’s blog theme last year—re-reading twenty-four books of my youth—so much, so this year I’m applying the same approach to short stories, trawling through a myriad bunch of collections and anthologies I’ve read in the last few years.

December 3rd:
The Psychometry of Snow – ‘Nathan Burgoine

bearsofwinterTell me about your first time: A little over a year ago I was invited to write a story for The Biggest Lover, an anthology from Bear Bones Books. Having never written a story in that vein before, I asked if I could read one of their previous titles to get a sense of what they wanted, and so the editor sent me The Bears of Winter. I read a couple of stories—some pretty filthy ones, with some bears doing some pretty naughty things—and then I read ‘The Psychometry of Snow’. To which my response was: oh, damn, I want to do something like that! (I didn’t even come close, fyi.)

Sum it up: Objects speak to Luke; they tell him their histories, and their stories, and it’s almost too loud to bear. Only snow is quiet. And so he retreats to the mountains in search of peace, and instead finds someone from his past.

Give me a quote: “My duffel is from World War II, and it’s mostly quiet these days, though the first time I lifted it to my shoulder, I felt the joy of putting it down and spreading my arms to hug a child I’d never even met but could now walk.”

Second Reading: Honestly, it’s just beautiful. Sincere but delicate, fragile but just a little bit sexy. I’m a sucker for stories that mix life and magic, and ‘The Psychometry of Snow’ does it wonderfully, alongside a touching queer romance and a real sense of history to the backstory it weaves for Luke. ‘The Psychometry of Snow’ was the story that single-handedly made me a fan, and you should all follow my example.

Where can I find it?: In The Bears of Winter, edited by Jerry L. Wheeler, or you can read (or listen to, though I recommend reading) the story for free on the Lethe Press blog.

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