Tansy Rayner Roberts (cassiphone) wrote in lastshortstory,
Tansy Rayner Roberts

Wonder if you can pick up my accent on the phone

Ted Chiang, "Exhalation," Eclipse Two - I found this a precise, interesting piece of science fiction surrealism, though I didn't love it as much as many of my fellow LSS readers. The tone was a little too clinical for my tastes, and there wasn't enough of a sense of human character (this is the same thing I struggle with when it comes to Ursula Le Guin, while everyone around me is raving enthusiastically). The imagery of the story, however, is powerful and memorable.

Veronica Schanoes, "Lily Glass," Strange Horizons - a lovely literary take on Snow White via the mythology of the golden age of Hollywood. One of the most interesting versions of the wicked queen/Snow White dynamic I've read, with a strong role for the absent king/neglectful father.

Eugene Fischer - "Husbandry," Strange Horizons - a fascinating, gruelling look at a man attempting to care for his wife as she descends into the fog of early onset Alzheimers. This personal tragedy is balanced with the very creepy element of this particular world - animals (and, it is implied, people) who die do not stop moving... the comparison between the zombie animals of the protagonist's professional life (he is a vet) and the mental debilitation of his wife makes for a very powerful story.

Eugie Foster, "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast" Interzone #220 - a really engrossing otherworld fantasy. The protagonist belongs to a world where no one exists except when they wear one of their many beautifully-crafted masks, each of which confers a different personality and lifestyle upon the wearer. Through the eyes of the protagonist we see the complex society open like a flower and then slowly crumble apart as his/her eyes are opened to the murkier truths behind the beauty.

Cecil Castellucci, "Baby in the Basket" Strange Horizons - a story of anomalies and a time revolution, told through the domestic details of a woman suffering from one very specific time anomaly - a baby who regularly appears on her doorstep, always the same age, needing someone to care for it.

Tim Pratt, "Her Voice in a Bottle," Subterranean Magazine (winter) - a gentle, intriguing story using one of my guilty pleasure favourite writing techniques - when the author puts themselves (or a very recognisable version of themselves) into the story. This false slice of autobiography is about lost (not quite found) love, and includes some nice meta commentary about the writing techniques being toyed with.


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