Meet Morris Payne, misanthrope, loner, agoraphobiac, and out and out the most engaging computer hacker you could ever invent. He’s pretty much a prisoner in his own house, and he likes it that way. And he’s very much a believer in the old saw that good fences make good neighbors. He stays in his house, he wants everyone else to stay in theirs.
Along comes a horrendous snow and ice storm. He’s only got the electricity and time to finish one vital hacking job when he gets the rug pulled out from under him in the form of his neighbor’s cute kid who’s just done his own hacking job right up to Morris’s back door where his security system shot him full of darts. The rest of the family is out in the snow banging on his front door to let them in.
What’s a good and twisted neighbor to do? Leave them out there to freeze, to die from the poisoned darts? What a treat to read an exciting short from beginning to end in fifteen minutes. Good Fences is a prequel short story to the exciting full-length novel Fate’s Mirror.
Too short by half! Riding Fourth is the short story intro to M.H. Mead’s upcoming novel Taking The Highway which is excerpted after The End of the short story in question. I wanted more (obviously), and that’s a good thing. This story is about the sub-species of job that opens up for hitchhikers when it becomes illegal to drive the highways with less than four people in the vehicle. You can drive the side streets, take public transportation, or hire a fourth, which is a lot like picking up the day laborers you see in the convenience store parking lots as you drive early into work. Lots and lots of trust is involved, so you can pretty much guess what happened to the fourth.
WHAT I READ THIS WEEK—The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Good Fences by M.H. Mead. Riding Fourth by M.H. Mead.