200 words about Catapult
"Crawling back under the blanket"
Catapult's title suggests you're entering a world galvanized by great thrusts of forward momentum, hurtling through space-time, upward and outward and onward — and if you rush through Emily Fridlund's first short story collection (or read Ben Marcus' intro), you might agree, given how much surface movement there appears to be across rooms and states, families and friendships. If you're taking it a little slower, you might think, "Wow, there are a lot of children running around these stories," which is also true; Fridlund doesn't shy away from kids' awkwardness. But the slower you think through it, the more you realize a catapult is a red herring, that this isn't about action at all, that it's about all that tied-up tension before a launch and after a landing. Look again: The first story out of the gate is called "Expecting." A bed is mentioned in every story and features prominently in many of them (the best of which spends 20 pages oscillating between time machine construction and a climax). Even the prose itself feels suspended, waiting to be released by whatever comes after Listen, when we're done with this — a release you can find in someone else's story collection.