S. L. GILBOW
S. L. Gilbow is a relatively new writer, with three stories published to date, all in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He debuted in the February 2007 issue with “Red Card,” a dystopian SF story in the vein of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”
Gilbow taught college English for a few years in the early nineties, but claims that he hasn’t had much training in writing fiction. He says he’s currently writing the great American novel. He’s only got one line so far, but says to trust him, it’s definitely going to be great, and it’s definitely going to be American.
This story is about language and how words can be created and used. It was inspired by the word “grimpting,” which was made up in junior high by Gilbow’s wife, her sister, and a childhood friend. Gilbow says he and his wife use it to describe those things that are so bad you can’t think of another word for them.
So add that one to your vocabulary, just don’t use it in reference to any of these stories.
I submit the following translation to the Galactic Society of Ancient Languages in response to the absurd assertion made at our last conference. Although we all agree that Archaic Planetary English can be translated into our Galactic Standard, some still hold that the process cannot be effectively reversed. Therefore, I submit the following sample of my work as evidence that such a translation is indeed possible.
I have selected a transmission at random from my files so that none can accuse me of selecting text based solely on its simplicity. I have chosen to retain some words in Galactic Standard, but only those few which cannot be logically translated. However, rest assured, the text below, and even this introduction written in that ancient language, could have been understood on Earth so very long ago. I hope, once and for all, this puts this issue to rest.
Doctor Galwot Kradame