“Paying the Tab”

For our next MUG meeting, we’re reading “Paying the Tab”, by Brian K. Lowe.  I’m subscribed to the email list at Daily Science Fiction, and this showed up in my Inbox one day.  It’s exactly what I like to do in my own stories: a seemingly normal setting, but with a twist in both environment and plot.

I think this one’s done especially well.  It’s a very short piece, nearly all dialog, and only 2 1/2 characters.  (You’ll understand the ‘1/2’ a character when you read the story.)

Things to think about:

1) How does the author develop the characters, and how well does he succeed?

2) Would this story work equally well in another setting – science fiction, detective noir, etc.?

3) Did the resolution of the story surprise you?  If not, at what point did you forsee the ending?  How could the story have been changed to make it more (or less) surprising?

4) After reading this story, I still wondered about…

Enjoy the read, and feel free to post comments about your experience reading this story.



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