5.30.2021

It's Just the Coffee Talking: a good, short read - "Bloodletting" by Kate Wilhelm (an unintentional chit-chat post over morning coffee)

Good Morning.
 
This morning I woke and stared out the window; listened to a bird's call that I've not heard before, wondered about it before it soon flew elsewhere (that explains why I've not heard this one before; it doesn't live in our woods but was apparently just passing through), then, decided I didn't want to get up yet so I grabbed my book. 
 
The one I most recently started reading is called The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic SF.  That's a mammoth sized title, I know.
 
 
 
I'm only a few stories in, and a couple were 'meh' and one, I know I've read before - somewhere, at some point - but I don't recall where or when (I read like, 250 books a year so... yeah).  BUT there is one story in it that I thought was really good.  It's called Bloodletting by Kate Wilhelm.  

The story is not about an apocalypse, but how one starts with a pandemic brought on by a virus... (sound familiar?  2020? LOL) that is unleashed from the lab by accident.  The one in the story is spread after two different blood-types come into contact with each other.  The story is mostly though, told from a wife's point of view (her husband is the scientist who unknowingly unleashed the virus).  It's a contemplative, quietly told story from a female point of view that includes bits about her children and doing such random things as making them meals and shaving her legs.  (Although the shaving of the legs becomes a focus later on.)  She is telling her story quietly into a tape recorder as she sits in her car by the side of a lake after she realizes what has happened and what the future holds.

But I really didn't plan on talking about the story.  I wanted to simply mention it because I usually click on the 'about the author' (usually even before I read the stories) because I LOVE the 'about the author' pages.  Sometimes (many times) the interesting backstory of the author is better than the story.  But... I digress.  Where was I?

So her name is Kate Wilhelm.  And I love the name Kate (always have... it's a thing with me) so I decided on a whim to look her up.  It ends up she's been around a LONG time.  Started writing back in 1959 I believe.  She passed away just recently in 2018.  

I found a list of her books on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble but I wondered by I didn't find any mention of Bloodletting in *almost* any of the lists of her published stories that I was finding on the web. 

Because it's too short to be a stand-alone book it wasn't published as such; but because I thought it was a really, really good story, I wondered why it simply wasn't being mentioned at all... anywhere really.

I found it was originally published just once;  in Omni Magazine, June 1994 edition.   I don't believe (?) it's been published or even included anywhere else until the book I mentioned above included it.  Yay, I'm so glad they did!  It deserves to be read.  Yes, it's short, no it's not an action packed, violent or even scientifically detailed story.  It's not meant to be.  Instead, it's just a well written story of how a pandemic starts and one wife and mother's view of events when she realizes what has happened and how she played an unwitting part in it.
 
And the only reason I ACTUALLY ended up writing about this story and author this morning isn't because I planned on rambling about the book or the story.  But simply because when I looked Kate's bio up this morning - just out of my own curiosity, I realized she almost shares a birthday with my father-in-law.  Their birthdates are only a couple days a part - same year.  She's passed on already, but my father-in-law is still celebrating birthdays (for now).

Kate Wilhelm would have been 93 next week.


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CNN was called out for all the connections and 'so and so in bed with' (often literally) between them and the Obama administration.  Now, another sketchy administration and more connections.  

 



By the time we muddle through a couple more years with Creepy Joe (otherwise known as Dementia Joe or even 'the big guy' if you are China...) as our President, someone is going to have a lot of awesome quotes to write a book with.
 
Another Biden quote:
 
"So the best way to get something done, if you, if you hold near and dear that that, you uh um, like to be able uh... anyway."


 

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Thanks for sharing morning coffee with me!