Last week I told you that this spotlight was going to slow down.
Well, it seems that this community conspired to make me a liar, since we got a couple of new collaborators that will try to fill this spot in the near future, giving me enough time to catch up with RL job.
Still, today's spotlight is both special and a bit of a cheat (kind of appropriate). As I said before my goal was to highlight great stories that didn't have the recognition they deserved, so I was kind of hesitant to include one from an author that won multiple workshops in the past. Then again, this is a story from 2005, even before the current incarnation of the site, so it deserves a bit of polish.
This story has a special place in my heart. It wasn't the first work of DKC I've ever read, but it was the first that really hooked me. DKC works on a pretty well-known set of tropes. In the past I praised some author for handling the erotica element of our genre in a more subtle or nuanced way, this is not the case. DKC's girls are very overt in their sexuality, they don't make any excuse for it and they rarely need to. In the hands of a less skilled writer, this would be a great turn-off for me, but The Premeditated Providence works this element into the story in a way that is both perfectly in line with the universe and the theme. The two main characters aren't insanely beautiful, sexy and powerful just because, they wished so. Beautification is a really tricky element of our genre, which is often written as an ancillary side-effect, but here it's deliberate and that is something I really enjoy.
Speaking of wishes, one of the things that really hooked me for good are the opening lines: "Not male, not female. It was what it is. And what it is can not be explained by modern science or acknowledged by it. It drifted through the universes invisibly stopping at worlds that teamed with life and technology. Often these worlds and the lives on it would not survive its presence. The entity would not harm the world itself but rather allow free will to decide the fate of an entire planet. It would be hard to understand what its true intent was, for it delivered exactly what it promised. And what it promised was for neither good nor evil. It perhaps felt pleasure in uncertainty, not knowing what would happen in a universe that was as predictable as an egg dropping to the floor. Millions of worlds later it approached the blue planet and randomly selected two that it would reward its gift to and watched with an infant's curiosity, watched a fate that was not intended to be."
For me, this opening is straight out of The Twilight Zone and just like that show, the story tosses a pretty mean curve-ball to the reader. Like in many other pieces by DKC, having two supergirls on the scene is a recipe for havoc and destruction on an untold scale, but this time the resolution isn't a simple tug of war. Remember how I said that the characters are insanely beautiful and sexy... well, without spoiling too much (I hope) this is going to play a pretty big role.
Now DKC is still very active in this community and actually announced a few weeks ago that Infinity Crisis, one of their (I've learned not to assume a gender) stories will be fully re-edited and re-published soon. Personally, I'm also hoping to see another of DKC's projects come to fruition: in the final paragraph of their long-winded epic The Project there is a direct reference to The Premeditated Providence, which means that there might be a potential for future crossovers and mayhem.