This novella, intended as the last of three in the collection titled Standard Six, is, for me, the strangest and most ambitious of the trilogy, by far, but it’s also the one that’s given me the most grief. I’ve written well beyond the excerpt here, but never quite have gotten the effects I was hoping for, so I keep pulling back and starting over. I like the opening (though the voice isn’t quite there yet–it sounds too similar to Jim Brincker’s voice in the novella “Standard Six”); I think it’s odd and funny in places, and then the strangeness begins to creep in–first with the call from Lou Cudhy’s son, then by the appearance of D.C. Satterwhite. Unlike the other novellas in this project, “Solid Gone” was always intended as a piece of “slipstream fiction,” as a blend of domestic realism and the fantastic. I’ll keep wrestling with it as long as the characters and situations stay alive in my mind, and so far (and it’s been years) they have.
A slightly different version of this, under the title “If You Lived Here You’d Be Home Now,” appeared in the first issue of Makeout Creek.