In my attempt to become a writer, I’ve taken to writing short stories. One of them was recently published. In an effort to improve my craft, I try to read as many short stories as I can. I’m…rather picky when it comes to short stories, much pickier than when it comes to novels (which is rather contrary, but what can I say), so it’s not often that I find a short story that truly speaks to me. I’ve realized that I would like to keep track of those stories that touch me or teach me something, and so that birthed a new idea: Short Story Friday.
On certain Fridays, I will share with you three short stories I have read that engaged me in some way. This will also be a great way for me to encourage myself to read more short stories! I definitely don’t read enough. And so, without further ado, I present my choices for this Friday:
A Lady’s Maid by Sarah Gailey (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, May 2017): Described as a “Victorian comedy of manners” featuring androids, this darkly comedic story juxtaposes Victorian social customs with futuristic technology. It’s an intriguing mix that leads to some rather amusing shenanigans culminating in the ultimate tragicomedy. Featuring the perspectives of several intriguing characters, it concludes with a satisfying and unexpected new beginning.
The Wanderers by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Clarkesworld, February 2013): This story throws you right into the action with an incredibly disturbing first paragraph from the perspective of sadistic aliens hoping to colonize Earth. They’ve spent years studying humans and believe we worship violence, so they believe they will be appreciated as our violent overlords. However, when they actually arrive on Earth, they discover something unexpected. Though the story never makes very clear what has actually happened on Earth, its subtle clues are chilling.
The Narrow Escape of Zipper-Girl by Adam-Troy Castro (Nightmare, June 2017): In this story, a very disturbed narrator becomes fascinated with a girl who had a body-mod zipper on her neck. He chronicles his relationship with this woman he calls only “Zipper-Girl,” describing his increasing obsession with her zipper and its horrific potential. We are in his head for the entire story, and he is one fucked up dude, which makes for one hell of a creepy read.