SSM: “The Receiving Tower” by Matt Bell

26 May

I don’t remember how this story came to me. It was before I really knew Matt, or even before I really knew who he was. It was probably from HTMLGiant or some other blog that mentioned it. I just remember the feeling of reading it, the disorienting excitement and sense of heavy dread, the way Matt made the slow harshness of the situation so real to the bones of me.

This story will stretch who you are, who you want to be. I’m always careful about how I relate stories here. As a writer, I tend to read as a writer–to look into the text, try to understand the choices the author made in their writing, read the work as a way to stretch myself as a writer–but I’ve always wanted Vouched to exist first and foremost for readers, whether they are writers themselves or not.

Running Vouched, I’ve found a lot of readers who crave writing that stretches them as a reader, and often times I forget about that aspect–that reading itself is a skill to be developed, that succeeding as a reader takes just as much creativity as succeeding as a writer, that readers even if they don’t write want work that bends them, that stretches that creativity.

You can find that here, in “The Receiving Tower,” and let’s face it, in all of Matt’s writing. I highly suggest, if you are looking to find in yourself something more than you knew before, to read this story, to get a copy of Matt’s book, How They Were Found.

It has been months since the larger dish picked up anything but static, maybe longer. Some of the men talk openly now about leaving the tower, about trying to make our way to the coast, where we might be rescued from this place by the supply transport that supposedly awaits us there. These men say the war is over, that—after all these years—we can finally go home.

The captain lets the men speak, and then, calmly, asks each of the dissenters where they are from, knowing these men will not be able to remember their hometowns, that they haven’t been able to for years.

The captain, he always knows just how to quiet us.

Read the full story from Willow Springs.(Opens in PDF.)

One Response to “SSM: “The Receiving Tower” by Matt Bell”


  1. SSR #14 of 15: How They Were Found « - July 21, 2011

    […] Single Sentence Review for How They Were Found on Vouched. Why wouldn’t there be? We endorsed The Receiving Tower over at Willow Springs, reminded you of How They Were Found Day, we even awfully interviewed Matt […]

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