A couple folks have asked me about an off-the-cuff remark I made at JordanCon at one of my panels. The question had to do with the gender of the protagonists I write, and I replied that I’ve written all manner of protagonists in my stories, including a balloon animal.
Nope, I wasn’t exaggerating. I have indeed written a balloon animal story, “The Life and Times of Penguin,” originally published in issue #18 of the Aussie ‘zine Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and reprinted in Farrago’s Wainscot, Escape Pod, and the anthology Triangulation: Taking Flight. It was actually my homage to Voltaire’s Candide.
Thanks! "Penguin" is one of my favs too.
It was inspired by a real-life penguin balloon animal that I got at a convention. I have a tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate objects and get irrationally attached to them, and over the course of a week or so, I watched it slowly shrink away--of course getting rather maudlin about it in the process. So I decided to write it a eulogy.