Despite being a bit quiet on first meeting, it only took a moment to determine Ziporah Hildebrandt is a free spirit. She is the kind of person who wears print skirts that flow around her like a magic cloud. Her smile is big and infectious. When she speaks, she uses words like healing and energy in holistic ways that make you feel like she wants to cover the world with them.
As I learned more about her, it became obvious she’s done about a billion things, and when I finally got to read her story “The Long Dizzy Down,” published in the 33rd Annual Writers of the Future Anthology, I see I’m right. To quote her bio: “Ziporah Hildebrandt studied poetry writing at Hampshire College. She has worked as a cook, sailboat crew member, Tarot reader, astrologer, bookkeeper, proofreader, shopkeeper, receptionist, sales analyst, cheese cutter, babysitter, tie-dyer, editor, and teacher.”
The story is breathtaking.
It’s hard science. It’s social science. It’s voice. It’s history. It’s kid stuff. It’s speaking to things bigger than the world but in such a tight point of view as to feel claustrophobic. It’s a complete and total work of art that will speak to its core audience at volume.
Due to its viewpoint character, the work takes a minute to get into, but soon I’m flying. A mystery unfolds. Questions pop up. Things happen. Answers arrive. When I’m done I’m thinking about Ziporah and wondering how the piece came to her. That’s the thing about creativity, though. Especially pieces like this one. There is no answer to that question. Things like this come when you’re open to them, and I think Ziporah is someone who is open to them more than others.
And the fact about “The Long Dizzy Down” is that I know there is no other person on the planet who could have written this story.
It’s a strange and many-wondered piece written by a writer who knows what she’s doing.
That’s the thing about Ziporah. She’s a free spirit, but she knows what she wants to do.
I’m terribly excited to watch her embark on the rest of her journey doing it.
Ziporah is going to be at the Barnes & Noble in Hadley, Massachusetts, on April 15, signing books. If you are in the area, be sure to drop by and meet her and get a copy of her story in the latest Writers of the Future anthology. For information about author book signings, visit the Writers & Illustrators of the Future facebook page.
Guest blogger, Ron Collins.
Ron Collins was a Writers of the Future published finalist in 1998 and a prize winner in 1999. He has gone on to publish about 100 short stories in prominent magazines and anthologies. Each volume in his fantasy serial Saga of the God-Touched Mage, hit the top 10 on Amazon’s bestselling Dark Fantasy list in the US, UK, and Australia. His short story, “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award. The first four books of his current SF series, Stealing the Sun, are available now. Find out more about Ron at typosphere.com