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Sarah Langan

Sarah grew on Long Island and went to college in Maine. She studied both fiction writing and environmental toxicology and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and floppy eared rabbit. It’s a busy household and sadly, the plants are often fatally thirsty.
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The Keeper: This is a writer you’ll want to know

The Keeper by Sarah Langan

Bedford, Maine, is a town with one industry: the paper mill. It’s been poisoning the water and air for generations, and workers have all sorts of physical complaints from breathing sulfur and other toxic fumes, but if anyone thought about it, they’d know that the recent closing of the mill probably dooms their town.

But no one’s thinking about the mill and the town’s economy. Instead, they’re all focused on Susan Marley. She’s a silent, beautiful woman in her mid-20’s who lives in squalor, turning a trick now and then to stay supplied with Campbell’s tomato soup, which she eats straight out of the can. She appears nightly in just about everyone’s nightmares, making her a sort of literary ghost of Dickens’s Jacob Marley.

One of the people most haunted by Susan is her sister, Liz. Liz is in high school, and is planning to put Bedford behind her as soon as possible and nev... Read More

Magazine Monday: Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2011

The September/October issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction is always a feast: 258 pages packed with stories by some of the top talent in the field. It isn’t unusual for this issue each year to contain at least one story that will show up on the award ballots the following year, and that’s true this year as well. My nomination goes to Geoff Ryman’s “What We Found.” Ryman has been writing lately of third-world cultures, in such a way that the reader becomes immersed in the culture, surrounded by sights, scents, tastes and sounds of a world so foreign to a first-worlder that it might as well be an alien civilization. This time, the setting is Makurdi in central Nigeria, a city with air conditioning, solar panels, telephones with ebooks -- and roosters crowing outside the window on the morning of the narrator’s wedding day. As Patrick tells his story of his strange scientific findings and their decay, the apparent effect of observati... Read More