Issue # 124: Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre

frost mt picnic0001Our new issue, “Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre,” was pulled from the slush pile by our associate managing editor, the intrepid Pei-Ling Lue. Pei-Ling became “Frost Mountain’s”  issue editor, shepherding it through the entire publication process, and so I’m turning the reins over to her to introduce you all to a great new writer: Seth Fried. —HT

I first encountered Seth Fried’s work from the slush pile, but by the time I replied to him about that particular story, it had already been accepted by another magazine. I thought that he had a unique voice which is funny and creepy and yet sympathetic—a true One Story voice.

When I first read “Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre,”I knew that it was the sort of story that would appeal to our readers. It’s about a community of people who are drawn to the mysterious Frost Mountain Picnic. Although a massacre occurs every year, the community feels compelled to attend for the sake of their children. As I read this, I found myself laughing at some of the ridiculous way people die, but there was a very human element in the way the townspeople are led by their desire to give their children every advantage, a trait that clouds their judgment, something that happens in our own lives.

When I shared this story with our One Story interns, each one of them approached me individually to talk about how much they liked the story. I know that this is one issue that will get passed around and discussed.

If you live on the Upper West Side of New York City and want to receive a free copy of “Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre,” my dad will be including an issue with every dining and take-out order at his restaurant Obento Delight as a gift to his customers for the first few weeks in September. Obento Delight is located at 210 W. 94th street.

Go here to read Seth’s Q&A with us and find out more about “Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre.”—Pei-Ling Lue

9 thoughts on “Issue # 124: Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre

  1. Wow, what a great take on the absurdities of group-think promoted by our corporate, nice-nasty society! Not to compare authors, but this story would be at home (and as good as an any story) in “Dangerous Laughter”

  2. Although I am yet to read this, though I have heard about the 25-year old Seth Fried. I have this thought that have been going through my mind for so long.

    OneStory truly publishes great stories. True I do not subscribe to them yet, I can compare the quartely dosage from The Paris Review to this because once in a while I get to pick up copies.

    I have been thinking that One story is almost essentially American. Is this true? You hadly get to see strong stories from other parts of the world where they produce great fiction. Browsing your past issues, I can only find Chimamanda’s piece and Doreen Baingana’s. I read Paul Yoon from one story but he seems to me to still be American.

    Recently? No? Perhaps for a long time, The New Yorker has diversified. Infact the blend has been great. the past few weeks have been Orhan Pamuk, a Russian etc. Harper’s taste for interntional fiction is perhaps greater.

    I guess this may be because you publish a writer only once which is really great. But let me hear from you.

  3. One Story does publish authors from other countries, such as Dan Taulapapa McMullin (Samoa), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Bangkok), Ramachandra Behera (India), Nam Le (Vietnam & Australia) and many others. That said, we are based in America, and so tend to publish more American writers, but I’d suggest subscribing to our magazine to get a greater sense of the kind of work we publish.

  4. I almost didn’t know Nam Le published here. I understand your point.

    Thank you Hannah, I really will subscribe to One story.

  5. Although I am subscribed to One Story this is the first one I have read entirely. Frost Mountain reminded me of works by my friend Marie. We always ask her “how many people die this time?’. I was drawn into the story immediately and wanted to know what eventually would happen. I started to try and guess the conclusion hoping I wouldn’t be let down. No awaking from a dream please. It did cause me to examine my own life and work. I know so much is futile and worry for my grandaughter coming into this crazy world. I am a survivor and amidst this economic collapse my job in health care seems secure. I ask myself why do I go out each day into this somewhat dangerous world and if there is a safer route through life. At 56 I still have no answer, I’m just glad I keep coming back from the picnic. I still ponder this story. I was satisfied with the ending. I could relate. Maybe my grand daughter will find a new way. That’s what I still have, hope.

  6. I loved this one! At some absurd moments I laughed hysterically! I found this to be highly entertaining and an excellent choice of subject to write about- the corporate conglomeration and control of military, the political sphere and pop culture. What wonderfully vivid imagery and metaphor!
    I’m a crank. I don’t attend the picnics, because I feel we need more than hope. We need something radical… like the truth!

  7. I’m sorry to have found this story disturbing, I understand the mentality of the crowd as well as the draw of the familiar and routine, but I would not count it as one of my favorites. If one likes this work I would suggest The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. This work has been translated into dozens of languages, has appeared as a radio show, a one-act play, a television drama, an opera, and a ballet. Obviously this genre’s appeal is quite widespread.

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