book cover of The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds

The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds

A Novella by

"The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds" was written sometime in 1983, in Cape May, New Jersey. I'd gone there in the hope that a few days of solitude might point me toward a book that would extend Matthew Scudder's story beyond Eight Million Ways to Die. Now that Scudder had stopped drinking, his d'etre seemed to have no raison - and I was worried that I'd just written myself out of a job.

That turned out not to be the case, but I didn't find out for a while, and certainly not in Cape May. But I did spend a lot of time looking up at the sky, and "The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds" was the result.

It's not quite a crime story, and it's female viewpoint character rules it out for magazines like Playboy. My agent sent it to Redbook, where it was a near-miss, and to Cosmopolitan, where the editor who returned it explained that characters in Cosmo stories don't have kids around, not even as pupils in their schoolrooms. Go know. It's next port of call was The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I didn't think of it as either fantasy or SF, as it doesn't take super powers to make clouds disperse, but they took it, and that was that. I don't recall that the story was ever picked for an anthology. I tucked it into my second collection, Like a Lamb to Slaughter, and my omnibus volume, Enough Rope.

Used availability for Lawrence Block's The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds

Kindle Editions

November 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds
Author(s): Lawrence Block
Publisher: Lawrence Block
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA