Lattice Issue 2: Cracks in the Keep
I’m getting a little better at explaining just what Lattice is. The first time I talked about it to someone else, I stammered and stalled so much they thought I was talking about something dangerous. A few times after that, I think I’ve got it down. Lattice is a vehicle. Everything I write goes in it, and depending on the month, this might change. I want to guarantee a few things. The basic structure so far is going to remain intact for a long time. The first issue, released last month, contained the first chapters of two stories (I guess I can’t call them ‘books’), and this month you’ll find chapter 2 of Skypunch and chapters 2 and 3 of Moonbow Easy. Skypunch and Moonbow Easy seem like they’re on the same course now, but they’ll quickly diverge, and one will last much longer than the other. Skypunch is an actual serial novel that will be presented in volumes (hence the S1E2 in the chapter title, marking seasons and episodes), whereas Moonbow is a traditional novel presented in 12 separately released chapters. When Moonbow ends in a year, another traditional novel will take its place.
Just like last month, I’m also including the last four articles in my series of essays about pro wrestling. They’re called “The Heart is Raw,” and they’re one part review of WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” soap opera, one part close reading of a character or moment, and one part emotional catharsis. It’s my attempt to unpack a popular serial fiction while informing my own writing. They are absolutely readable by people with no knowledge or care about wrestling, but probably not for people who don’t like soap.
There’s a bonus short story in this issue, called “The Alley.” It’s a quick character study in a tense moment. I don’t want to spoil anything in the story itself, but I’ll happily spoil the context around the story: it takes place in Skypunch. I’ll spoil another thing: Skypunch, Moonbow Easy, No Chinook, and A Record Year for Rainfall all exist in the same universe. There are no self-contained stories in my collection, and they’re all slowly building on the same premise. I’ve included No Chinook and A Record Year for Rainfall as separate (and free) issues in the Lattice subscription because I want people to find the clues. And before you ask, yeah, the wrestling stuff exists there, too.
This episode in Skypunch is Aubry’s origin. As she sits on the back of the ambulance and watches her house burn down, she remembers her upbringing in the various places she’s lived and how she lived there, mostly in relation to her parents. For people who didn’t have much to feel for as she lost her home, this should fill that out.
For Moonbow Easy, our hero Odette gets some good news, then some immediate bad news. We see her cope, and wonder, and wait. Things are going to start happening there very soon. I didn’t plan on doing this originally, but after reading chapter 2 as a standalone piece, I’ve decided to ship chapter 3 alongside it. Chapter 2 is a bummer, and frankly, I didn’t want both Skypunch and Moonbow to be so dreary. So, hey, bonus. Chapter 3 marks the beginning of the story proper, as a new character appears and begins to give Odette the hope she really, really, really needs.