Eugene Lim, "Returning to the Problem"


It’s December 22. Eugene Lim, author of Dear Cyborgs, takes the over on the Death Star.

How would you describe your story?

EUGENE LIM: A fiction-poetry-essay-memoir frankenstory sparked to being by torture rendition sites and a tossed-off comment by Tom McCarthy on the destruction of the Death Star. 

When did you write it, and how did the writing process compare to your other work?

EL: Just after the 2016 election. I think it was a little different in that it was worrying about a particular idea, i.e., can fiction address or be in any way adequate to the inescapable entanglement of systems we live in. 

What kind of research went into this story?

EL: The time of writing it just preceded my daily, failed resolve to stop reading the news and persist in fetal position.

What, to you, makes the short story a special form? What can it do that other kinds of writing can't?

EL: I would say that it has to be immediately immersive and strikingly memorable but maybe that's just tautological? As a form it more often than not eludes me. 

Where should people go to learn more about you and your work?


What's the best gift you've ever been given?

EL: Dunno but my wife has given me some nice hats.

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What did you think of today's story? Use the hashtag #ssac2018 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to check in with your fellow advent calendarians.

Michael Hingston