“The Vringla/Racket Incident” is an epistolary story—one told through documents, diary entries, and/or letters. As a form, the epistolary story was quite popular in the 18th century at a time when letters were an essential part of everyday life. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) is probably the best known epistolary novel while Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1982) and Helen Fielding’sBridget Jones’ Diary (1996) are more contemporary examples of this form. Bridget Jones’ Diary originally merged epistolary storytelling and serialized fiction, as the early diary entries were published as a weekly column in the British newspaper The Independent. Within the SF genre, recent epistolary works include Max Brooks’ World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War(2006) which describes the Zombie War through a series of interviews collected by the United Nations Postwar Commission. In “The Vringla/Racket Incident,” author Jakob Drud introduces us to Johanna Wilborough, a government employee looking for a babysitter, through a series of hard-sell letters she receives. The creepy babysitter prospects and final twist made me laugh out loud.
Jakob Drud lives in Aarhus, Denmark, where he writes advertising copy for a living and science fiction and fantasy for fun. He writes in English because of the many interesting writers and people involved in the SF web community. His stories have appeared in more than 20 webzines and anthologies, including Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. Visit his blog at jakobdrud.livejournal.com or read his tweets at @jakobdrud.
To: Johanna Wilborough
Re: Looking for a babysitter
Dear Johanna Wilborough,
Thank you very much for your email requesting the services of Survivor BabyCare. You ask whether we can provide a suitable babysitter, and I’m delighted to say we have over a dozen in your area. I’m sure we can find someone to care for little Victoria while you work overtime on the government’s reconstruction program.
I noted that you specifically asked for a human babysitter. Given the demographics after the Vringla invasion attempt we have run into certain recruiting issues. Therefore we’ve decided to assign any remaining human sitters to our pre-war customers whenever possible.
. . . Read the full story in Far Orbit: Speculative Space Adventures