Matt Dojny's "You Are the Stepson" is one story told three different ways. Dojny uses "variations on a theme, like movements in a symphony, or parallel universes, existing side by side but never intersecting," writes Halimah Marcus, co-editor of Electric Literature, in her introduction this issue. "The opening to 'You Are the Stepson' tips the [listener] off to the elements that will appear in all three tales contained herein: a cancer-ridden stepfather and his stepson, a bicycle and a gun, and the desperate need for an apology, 'due to the situation with the ant.'”
Boyd Darrow is a young American living in Puchai, a tiny Southeast Asian country that tourist brochures refer to as "The Kingdom of Winks". In a series of letters written to a mysterious recipient, Boyd tells of the delights, humiliations, and brain-bending misadventures he experiences while adjusting to life in the small college town of Mai Mor. He and his somewhat less-than-faithful girlfriend, Ulla, were hoping to start their lives over in Puchai, but Puchai has an agenda all its own. Ulla's been hired to organize the talent show at the town's annual "Festival ofTaang", but she seems more interested in the possibilities of cultural exchange with a local revolutionary.