Friday, November 25, 2011

brief and recently read

Some short fiction that I've read online and enjoyed of late, and can now recommend with enthusiasm unbridled:

"The Tenth of December"
by: George Saunders
(from The New Yorker, October 2011)

Please persist at least to the bottom of the first page. I started this story several times and was put off by the sudden immersion in the inexplicable make believe of a flailing kid. But, by the end of the story, by the ninth page of frozen pond, sickening man, and ever more flailing kid, I had tears all over my face. You need to read this.

"Nicholas Went Looking for the Mayor's Right Hand"
by: William Alexander
(from Zahir, July 2010)

This story reminds me of Lloyd Alexander, who was one of those authors who furnished the rooms in my head when I was a kid. Except this is darker, crueler, and more unsettling (and I mean to say those words in a tone of admiration).

by: John Crowley
(from Lightspeed, November 2011)

Romantic, in a depressed and hollowing way. It carries its skill lightly and tells the story with a refreshing lack of coyness (which isn't what I expected once I had read the first few paragraphs and understood the basic idea). Smooth and beautiful to read.

"The Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived"
by: Keffy R. M. Kehrli
(from InterGalactic Medicine Show, October 2010)

Keffy is a friend of mine, but for some (inexcusable) odd reason, I bookmarked this story to read when it came out and then completely forgot about it. It's very good, completely distressing, and punches right at the tender obsessions of memory and endings (as, now that I look at my list, all of these stories do) that preoccupy the back of my head.

by: Ferrett Steinmetz
(from Redstone Science Fiction, October 2011)

Here is the thing about Ferrett: he is one of my Clarion classmates, so I admire him as a writer and comrade, but some of his stories absolutely do not touch me at all. And then some of them are just so very appealing, so clearly written and straightforward in emotion. They go down easily and stick. I catch myself thinking about them often and remember them clearly, which is a sign of great affection.


And here are three stories that I read in print. I really think you should read them (I loved them to excess), but after a lazy search, I could not find them online, so you will have to search them out yourself.

"The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death"
(Shawn Vestal, Best American Fantasy 3)

"The Duck"
(Ben Loory/Stories for Nighttime and Some for Day)

"The Wolves of St. Etienne"
(A. D. Jameson/Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 27)

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