2019.04.08 – Short Story Recommendations

Right. I’ve been neglecting this for way too long now. I’m not going to bore you with how life sometimes gets busy and time seems like the Roadrunner leaving you all to aware that you’re Wile E. Coyote with no control of what’s going on despite your best efforts. Suffice to say that today’s post is long overdue. So let’s get to it.

Only In New York by Libby Heily (Daily Science Fiction): The premise is a little silly — wormholes open in the New York metros and no one really takes it seriously anymore — but besides that, the story was well crafted. The descriptions were apt, the sentence level writing was concise, and tensions were high. That, and it did well in highlighting how mundane and beaurocratic the world can be.

In September by Aimee Ogden (Daily Science Fiction): Another DSF story and another story where the basic premise is a bit wobbly. People choose to only live in their favorite months, leaving their loved ones to be abandoned for the rest of the year. Then again, it’s difficult to investigate a premise in much depth in a flash fiction piece, and it was an original speculative element. Besides, the strong point of this story was how it dealt with the characters and how the speculative element effected them emotionally. It goes right for the feels.

A La Carte by Joy Kennedy-O’Neill (DSF): I’ll promise I’ll stop telling you how much I enjoy reading DSF one day, but it won’t be today. This was another excellent story of theirs. The speculative idea was new and well thought through (you can avoid paying taxes but have to live with horrible dream-like sequences as a punishment ala youtube commercials you can’t shut off unless you pay for premium). And the author managed to tie this nicely with the protagonist’s personal conflict.

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky (Apex): This was re-read for me, but it seems like the kind of story that had to arrive at the list at some point. It’s a Nebula Award winner and a Hugo Award nominee, and with good reason. When I first read it, I was like, yeah, okay, so the writing is solid, but this is just weird, until I got to the end. It hit me straight in the gut, and as soon as I’d recovered, I went straight back and re-read it. And it’s the kind of story I still remember six years later, so yeah, I’m not going to blabber on about it. Go read it!

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