Wednesday, 13 June 2018

#ReadShortStories about horrible things (101 to 105)

After a little break from short stories, in which I got sucked into a few novels, I am back at it. I'm still making my way through Not So Stories and still trying to break that book up with other stories to lighten the mood. I was less successful at lightening the mood in this batch, however, as the two random stories I chose were not exactly cheerful, alas. They're all strong stories, though.

How the Ants Got Their Queen by Stuart Hotston — A clear metaphor for colonialism, it’s ills and aftermath. Although the story was not subtle, I still found myself enjoying it. And the direction of the ending was not overly telegraphed, which was nice. Not a cheerful story (of course), but a good read. Source: Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore

How the Snake Lost its Spine by Tauriq Moosa — As you can guess from the title, this is another creature-origin type story. I liked the ideas in it, but I didn’t find it to be as strong as some of the others. The writing could have been tighter where I found it a little dull in places. Not bad overall, just not one of the best. Source: Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore

The No-One Girl and the Flower of the Farther Shore by E Lily Yu — An unusual story about a girl living on the fringe of society after her grandmothers’s death and the village in which she lives. Also a magical flower. I liked it but I’m not sure I fully understood it, mainly because the structure was not what I am used to. Source:

Unplaces: An Atlas of Non-existence by Izzy Wasserstein — I liked this story and the way it was told, somewhat obliquely. Annotations to a non-fiction book about fictional/lost places tell of a dystopian future world in which hope is not lost. Source:

The Cat Who Walked by Herself by Achala Upendran — This story is about how common domesticated animals, as well as Man and Woman found their place. I found this story quite upsetting in how it just kept escalating in patriarchal (not sure that’s the right word—hegemonic?) terribleness. The ending was satisfying but didn’t erase what went before. Source: Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore

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