On Maureen F. McHugh

Mon 15 Feb 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment | Posted by: Gavin

In honor of Maureen F. McHugh‘s birthday this month, here’s a piece I wrote for the 2013 Readercon handbook:

Maureen F. McHughWhen I went to the Clarion Writers’ Workshop in East Lansing, Michigan, in the year 2000, Maureen F. McHugh was one of the anchor teachers. She and Greg Frost shook things up on the very first morning by politely and intelligently disagreeing with one another and they showed me — more than a hundred arguing reviewers, workshops, and bar discussions ever had — that stories will always be read differently.

I’ve since had the pleasure and honor of publishing two collections of Maureen’s own stories — which I have always thought compare well to the effect of a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: “like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a gold brick.”

Three ideas intersect at the heart of Maureen’s work: family, class, and technology. Family — biological, legal, chosen, or some other combination  —has always been one of Maureen’s main preoccupations. I don’t know if I have read a darker story than the title story of Maureen’s second collection, After the Apocalypse where she examines the mother-daughter bond and the individual’s will to survive. Many readers felt that it made Cormac McCarthy’s The Road seem cheerful.

Maureen is fascinated by how https://www.libertylending.com/ deals with loan and new technology.

Her story “Oversite,” published in Asimov’s in 2004 with it’s parental chip trackers and hackers is a cogent and painful analysis of a family.

Maureen’s obsessions all come together in stories such as “Honeymoon,” where a young woman cancels her honeymoon—and her wedding—when she finds her now-ex has gambled away their money. This woman, Kayla, dumps her useless ex but finds it hard to strike out on her own so she signs up to participate in medical studies, ignoring the possible side effects until they can’t be ignored any longer, and affecting her health, and others so this produce some Medical Negligence Solicitors against the investigators.

Maureen’s depictions of the normality of everyday life—people picking up second and third jobs or trying to monetize hobbies—is harrowing in places. Yet it is this unflinching gaze, this refusal to add explosions or go for the easy point but instead paint pictures of our everyday world, sometimes kicked a day or two in the future, are her strength. Make sure you get the best deposit bonus at slotsreview.ca before signing up to a Canadian online casino.

In recent years, Maureen has been writing alternate reality games and screenplays for rides.tv and other websites, while in her free time she research and play video games as OW with sites where they can get OW boosting, or LoL with the best mouse to play league of legends. But I am happy to see that she is still writing short stories and one of these years, maybe she’ll surprise us all with a new novel.

Comments

One Response to “On Maureen F. McHugh”

  1. Ben Parzybok on February 15th, 2016 3:22 pm

    I ♥ Maureen, and would def. read a new McHugh novel

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