Thursday, July 21, 2016

Obits, by Stephen King

This story was published in the collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner, ISBN 9781501111679, November 2015

Michael Anderson is a struggling, young, wannabe journalist, still living with his parents in Brooklyn, when he finds a webzine called Neon Circus. Calling it a scandal sheet would be unduly generous. Mike has just seen news of the death of a minor and scandal-ridden celebrity, and is moved to write a cruel and funny obituary, and send it to Neon Circus.

They buy it, and then they offer him a job, as the obit writer for the zine.

He enjoys his work, but he doesn't necessarily enjoy his co-workers. He especially doesn't enjoy his boss, editor of Neon Circus Jeroma Whitfield. When Mike reaches a breaking point of annoyance with her, he vents his annoyance in writing a nasty fictional obituary for her.

And Jeroma dies, in more or less the described manner.

What happens from there becomes the story. Saying more would be saying too much. It's very well done, with great character development and attention detail. I've seen some complaints that it just peters out without a real ending, but I don't agree. I think the ending is nicely handled, and I really enjoyed this.

Recommended.

I received this story as part of the 2016 Hugo Awards voters' packet.