Posted in Male Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Week 11 ~ “The Eighth of December”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“The Eighth of December” by Dave Smeds

Card picked: Jack of Clubs

From: Tales of the Impossible, ed. by David Copperfield & Janet Berliner

Review: Alternate timeline fiction.

“Back when people listened to a different kind of rock ‘n’ roll,” Brad Taylor was as big as The Beatles and likewise a musician with a social consciousness. After John Lennon is killed on the 8th of December, Brad receives a terrifying amount of threats and decides to pull a disappearing act. The best way to fall off the radar? Fake his own death. Unfortunately, Brad Taylor being “murdered” so soon after Lennon sparks a rash of violence against rock stars. By 1982, Paul McCartney, Donovan, and Bob Dylan are all dead and many others have left public life. In 1995, the Cold War continues, the Berlin Wall still stands, and republicans run the United States. Brad couldn’t stay away music and has found fame a second time as Vic Standish, lead singer of the heavy metal band Victory. On the 15th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, Brad/Vic wonders if rock ‘n’ roll, or the lack thereof, could have really changed the world.

Writing about music is a difficult thing. How do you manage to convey what’s being played, especially if it’s a fictional song being played by a fictional band. Dave Smeds pulls it off fairly well. (Considering recent news, it makes me wonder how well Anne Rice pulled it off. It’s been a long while since I readย The Vampire Lestat.) He also doesn’t out-and-out say that he thinks music after 1980 sucks, but there’s definitely the implication. Victory, I suppose, is analogous toย  Metallica or Def Leppard or maybe Guns ‘n’ Roses; probably nothing harder or more deviated from the rock music of 1969-1980. Where Dave Smeds and I differ is in this opinion of music. I think he sets up a false dichotomy. To say that social activism was only fostered through peace-love-and-rock-and-rock ignores much of punk and a good swath of industrial. Just sayin’.

Is This Your Card?
I’ve been trying to find tricks that feature each cards, a concept that only occurred to me a few weeks ago. So far, I only have about a third of the deck accounted for, so this will be an occasional feature. James Galea’s routine features the whole deck, but jacks play a specific part…and I was low on videos for clubs.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

7 thoughts on “Deal Me In, Week 11 ~ “The Eighth of December”

  1. Alternate timelines are hit or miss for me (usually miss). The scope of effort required for pulling it off successfully is probably just too great for most to achieve. On the contrary, though, the premise of the timelines almost always intrigue me, as this one did. I guess pulling it off in a short story is even more difficult if you think about it.

    Thanks for sharing that video. I hadn’t ever seen a trick quite like that one before. Very impressive. “Keep them coming!” ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Alternate timelines intrigue me too, but I get very hung up in whether all the changes are accounted for. Which is a nearly impossible task. I supposed I should be a little less literal… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I never really thought about it, but I agree with you that portraying music in books can be really challenging. I listened to an audio book recently, and I was tickled pink to discover that music was written for the fictional song. It was actually sung in it. It was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh, that’s cool. Occasionally, I’ll come across a “cover” of songs from Tolkien or other fantasy authors and it’s neat to see what musicians do with the lyrics.

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