As with books in general, I haven’t been reading as much short fiction this month. Life is busy, ya’ll! But I did read a few stories, and I’m pleased to share those with you.
“When the Letter Comes” by Sara Fox
What if you knew, absolutely knew, that one day you would get a letter or an owl or a magic door that would whisk you away on an adventure? And a letter does come! Only, it’s not for you, it’s for your younger sister…
“The Loneliest Ward” by Hao Jingfang
Hao Jingfang’s been on my radar ever since I read the phenomenal story, “Folding Beijing.” In “The Loneliest Ward,” our protagonist is the noxious Qina, who’s angry at her boyfriend and doing things like threatening suicide. I know, horrible. Anyway, the mystery of the piece is that she works in a hospital ward full of comatose patients.., but what disease afflicts them?
“Tool-Using Mimics” by Kij Johnson
“Tool-Using Mimics” is interlacing flash fiction, all based off of the image of a girl who looks part octopus. The result is as magical as it is strange.
“Bluebeard’s Wife” by Ursula Vernon
This is my favorite ever take on the Bluebeard fairy tale. Essentially it asks, “What if Bluebeard had a wife who never went into the forbidden room?” Althea believes that everyone deserves some privacy, so she never goes into her husband’s room at the top of the tower. I love the characterization of Althea, and there’s plenty of subtle humor that comes from seeing Althea steadfastly respect her husband’s privacy.
“Bluebeard’s Wife” was my favorite story of the bunch, no question. It’s hard to beat Ursula Vernon.
Have you read any good short fiction lately?