Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Short Fiction Wednesday

This week's Fantasy has "Perhaps This is Kushi's Story" by Swapna Kishore. What I liked about this one was the way the story within the story works, interesting in itself but also important for Kushi. Key to that was the end of the inner story where the Tribemother asks each girl to suggest how the story would go from there. The society within the story is certainly a strong part of its appeal as well, even though so little is spelled out in any detail.

Also worth mentioning this week is Yoon Ha Lee's "The Territorialist"...though to tell the truth I'm not completely sold on it. I love the sheer sense of imagination that's clear throughout, but I think this is one of those stories that would have benefited by being longer, more fleshed out. I hesitate to say that, because often when I come across comments along those lines, they seem to carry a sense of this-is-so-good-it-deserves-to-be-longer, as if longer itself were always better. Me, I like the concision and immediacy of a good short story. I love flash and even microfiction. But...while this story's imaginative society and complex tensions pulled me along, I felt lost for parts of it, and I think the ending would have been more affecting if I'd had more time to get to know Jershi, Wrack, and Armain, and if I'd had more time to understand what was at stake for this place and its people. But that criticism doesn't change the fact that it was an enjoyable read.

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