Cover of After Dinner Conversation
Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-20 of 273 documents


1. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Kolby Granville From The Editor
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
2. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Jeffrey Feingold The Loneliest Number
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Should a bipolar person go on medication if doing so limits their ability to do “great things?” In this work of psychological fiction, Irena is a bipolar piano player that fled, years ago, from an eastern bloc country. Her troubled relationship ended, and her partner died shortly after their breakup. This put her in a deep depression and sent her to therapy for years where she was treated with medication for being bipolar. One day, her dead ex comes to her and tell her she should enter a world renowned piano competition with a $400,000 prize. Her therapist reminds her about her stage fright that ended her career, but Irena insists. She practices, and wins the competition and the money. She decides to move to New York and leaves the $400,000 prize money as a thank you gift to her therapist.
3. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
David Hann Immorality Failure
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is the specter of death the greater motivator of life? And, without that specter, would humans lack motivation to work and achieve? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Peter wakes up to a warning from his computer that the nanites in his grandmother’s body are failing, and she is slowly dying from kidney failure. He spends the morning working to find the source of the sickness and issues. After some work, he realizes that the nanites are producing a product that is slowly poisoning his grandmother; it’s murder! He goes to his 150-year-old grandmother’s house to tell her, only to find out she knows about the issues, and she is the one who created them. Even though she is the creator of the nanites, and is a celebrity scientist of sorts, she has come to the conclusion that without the fear of death, humans lack motivation to excel.
4. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Garrett Elms Gardenia
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is it okay to give credit to an unknown person? Is there value in taking credit for the success of your own hard work? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, the narrator is on a road trip and decides to stop in for breakfast at a small-town diner in Gardenia. Like most breakfast diners, the local community is there. He strikes up a conversation with an older gentleman sitting next to him and learns about Elroy Goddard, the most powerful, wealthiest, and probably the kindest, man in their small town. He owns practically everything, and has helped out practically everyone in town at one point or another. Many of the streets and parks are named after him as well. The waiter says he’s her “uncle,” of a sort, and even helped her get the job. However, after additional questioning it becomes clear nobody has actually ever seen Elroy, and his actions and support of the town are more indirect than they seemed at first. The narrator leaves town wondering if Elroy is real at all.
5. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Safiyyah Althaff After “The End”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
How would you live if you knew there would be no tomorrow? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, the earth is coming to an end. A free-floating planet, dubbed the “black sun” is on a collision course with earth. The narrator goes out into the darkness of the streets to walk, lost in thoughts about his life, about its happiness, and its failures. He hears a tv on and wanders into a house to find a little girl, watching the tv. She is alone in the house, she explains. Her mother left years ago, and her father left earlier in the week, leaving the house stocked with food for her. He talks to her, and they decide to face the end of the world together.
6. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Hannah Baumgardt The Empathery
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What might you learn by walking in another person’s body? In this work of body swapping philosophical short story fiction, Empathery has perfected the technology to move the consciousness of one person into the body of another. To promote their business, they have partnered with the local school. Carol, the narrator of the story, is surprised when her daughter and son both come home in new bodies as part of a two-day assignment for school. Later, her husband Dave comes home in the body of a co-worker as part of a work team building exercise. Carol is offput by the entire thing, but when Dave decides to take the kids on a weekend fishing trip, she comes up with an excuse to stay home. Over the weekend, she goes to Empathery and gets the body a younger and fitter woman than herself. She finds the entire process disturbing, never leaves the house, and takes the body back as soon as she is able.
7. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
C.F. Carter I, Von Economo
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What would you do to ensure your soul continues forever? Does comfort with death require truth? In this work of philosophical short fiction, the narrator goes to a pseudo-scientist/cult leader who says that by consuming the ashes of the dead, you are consuming their souls and spirit. She is visiting to seek her revenge because her mother and father got wrapped up in the ideology of the man. She tours the facilities, and learns about the “science” and faith behind the process. In the end, she exacts her revenge for what was done to her family.
8. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Pamela L. Laskin Love Sounds
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
How do you deal with a family member with a severe mental illness? To what extent do you allow them into your life, when doing so causes stress and harm to your well being? In this work of philosophical short fiction, the narrator is suffering from a severe mental illness, but clearly loves her daughter. Her daughter has suffered the attention of her mother’s mental illness for years and has done her best to limit her mother’s effects on her life. The narrator correctly intuits that her daughter is getting married. She is not invited to the wedding so to prevent there from being a scene, and drama. No matter, she continues to focus on “planning” the wedding until she is eventually arrested.
9. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Author Information
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 10
Additional Information
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
11. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Kolby Granville From The Editor
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
12. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Arthur Jaros Milla’s Dandelion
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
How do you know what’s wrong with a relationship? In this work of fantasy and ethics fiction, Alchemilla is in a poor marriage with her Kestral. Alchemilla collects and sells flowers for a living. Kestral, and their doctor, think she is pregnant. While out on a flower picking expedition she meets peaceful, but fantastical human like animal creature with horns. He cannot speak, but they becomes friends and she names him Dandelion. She tries to tell her husband out Dandelion, but he doesn’t believe her. Later, he finds them together and attacks Dandelion. Alchemilla stands up to her husband and kills him.
13. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
M. M. De Voe The Heaven — The Earth
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What causes a person to feel empty inside? How do they get to that point in their life, and how do they get out of it? In this symbolic and absurd work of philosophical short story fiction, Morton is at work when he realizes a hole is growing in his belly. It doesn’t hurt, and it’s not bleeding, but it is definitely there. He excuses himself from work to head home, worried that he will catch his wife cheating on him. However the house is empty. He opts to take off his clothes, exposing the growing hole, to do martial arts movements. He is out of shape and older now, and quickly gets winded. Suddenly a bird flies in his window, then another, and another, until is home is full of birds. He tries to protect his growing hole until, eventually, he decided to let a bird into it. He quickly shoves the bird into the hole and traps it in his stomach. No telling how long he can keep it there. His phone rings, it’s his wife calling to make dinner plans. For the first time, he feels purpose.
14. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Joe Giordano French Connection
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is the honestly lived life always the best? What if it leads to a life of hardship and poverty? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, the narrator is transported to 1940’s Paris and is invited to have coffee with Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus. They discuss with her over coffee their ideas on the meaning and purpose of life, consistent with the opinions of the historical figures. Each comment they make ties into the decision the narrator is struggling with in her own time, if she should choose the college major she wants, disappointing her parents and creating a potential life of struggle, or should she attempt to construct a life of personal meaning and value? After a few minutes, she realizes the decision she must make.
15. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
David A. Cohen Where Have All The Young Girls Gone?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is your higher obligation to society or to your family? Does the outcome of your choices effect their rightness, and if you should take them? In this work of philosophical short story fiction set at a fictional University, Paul is pre-tenure in his duties and hears from a friend, who heard it from a “very reliable source” that one of the more senior professors was caught selling grades for sex. Rather than being exposed, and fired, they are helping him find a job at another nearby University. Paul is upset and this, and his wife is outraged, and insists they must do something to bring the professor to justice and keep it from happening again in the future. They call the newspaper, but because they are unable to provide concrete information, and refuse to provide their own names, the newspaper doesn’t pursue the story. The professor is transferred and, years later, retires as Dean of his department. Paul hears through the grape-vine that one of the alleged victims committed suicide.
16. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Robert Collings Reflections On Mr. Twain
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is it okay to lie when the only thing you are hurting is a corporation? If lying is an understood part of the game, is it dishonest to lie? In this work of philosophical short story fiction about an insurance claim, the narrator finds his car in the shop. As such, he spends several weeks getting a ride to work from his chatting friend, Sandy. On the fateful day of the story, they also pick up an additional person who gets a ride to work and sits in the back of the car. The way to work, while at the gas station, an elderly woman slowly backs into their car. The blinker light glass breaks but the car, and the occupants, are otherwise uninjured. A few days later Sandy starts acting strange and work. Eventually, he is put on permanent disability leave at 80% pay. Life goes on until, almost two years later, the narrator is contacted by Mr. Salamon, the claims adjusted for the elderly woman’s insurance company. In short, Sandy is asking the insurance company to pay him $10 million, but he will settle for $7 million. The narrator in the backseat, amazed by this, finds out the back seat passenger settled for $50,000 for his “injuries.” The narrator has a change of heart, and suddenly feels “injured.”
17. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Garrett Davis Idle Horns
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Is an eternity of punishment ever a just punishment? In this work of philosophical short fiction addressing the problem of hell, a demon, “Bub” asks the person he is torturing for eternity what he did to end up in hell. He responds that he stole a “few bikes.” This causes Bub to question his purpose and the justness in an eternity of punishment for a petty crime and walk off the job. He climbs to limbo to take a break from it all. Eventually, Hermes comes to fetch him and bring him before Satan, who punishes him for eternity for walking off the job.
18. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
John Doble The Mind Reader
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Are weak people more prone to follow an authoritarian? In this work of philosophical short fiction, the narrator tells the story of a man he knew in the 1970’s. In this remembered story, the narrator is a psychology student learning about the “F Test,” a test that supposedly allows you to gauge your fascist tendencies. He friend, a Vietnam Vet, disagrees with the simplicity of the test. To prove his point the friend talks to, and easily manipulates, a bohemian woman in the bar to change her life (for the better). The narrator watches and does nothing, but is horrified by how easily this happens. The incident ends their friendship.
19. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Author Information
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
20. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 3 > Issue: 9
Additional Information
view |  rights & permissions | cited by