2022 Short Story Reading Log

Ever since I opened The Short Story Editor’s doors in October of 2021, I’ve tried to start my day with a short story. This year, I’m going to make this little tradition a more intentional part of my day and try to read one story every day.

Below I’m going to keep a reading log of every story I’ve read this year, what it’s about, where I found it, and what I thought. I’ve put them in reverse order so the last one I read is at the top of the list. Jump to the first entry of the year.


DEC | NOV | OCT | SEP | AUG | JUL | JUN | MAY | APR | MAR | FEB | JAN


UPDATE: 2022 in Review

For my first year, I am pretty happy with the breadth of stories I read, though I didn’t come close to reading a story each day. Some days my brain was too full of stories to squeeze another one in, and many days, I was just too busy (especially at the end of the year).

Since January 1st, I’ve read 227 stories, written over the course of 142 years by 139 different authors, found in more than 47 publications including 5 anthologies and 8 collections. The authors came from 15 different countries with the majority from the USA, England, Canada, Ireland, and Australia, 74% of which were/are white. I try to keep diversity in mind when reading, but I can definitely do better.

I think I’ll try again in 2023, with a few modifications.

December

2022-12-29 “Christmas Eve 1953” by Tom Hanks

Virgil Beuell came home from Normandy and started a family with Delores Gomez. Bud Boling called once a year and joked that with Delores off the market, there was no point in getting married. He always joked. Originally published in The Telegraph (2017). Read in Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks. I like this story. That is all.

2022-12-28 “Three Exhausting Weeks” by Tom Hanks

Type A Anna propositions her smart caring, easygoing to the point of sloth friend and it is novel for him, but results in pain and ends in relief. Published in Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks. SPOILER The protagonist never directly stands up for his needs or wants in the relationship and when he gets dumped, says it hurts his pride. Uncomfortable but worthwhile commentary on the sitcom dude trope.

2022-12-14 “Catch That Rabbit” by Isaac Asimov

Powell and Donovan are trying to figure out why Dave and his subsidiary robots stop carrying out orders and start marching around. Originally published in the Astounding Science Fiction (1944). Read in I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. An interesting demonstration of being overloaded. I felt like the realization at the end came out of nowhere though.

November

2022-11-30 “Reason” by Isaac Asimov

Powell and Donovan are on the space station with QT-1 trying to convince him that he is in fact a robot built by humans. Originally published in the Astounding Science Fiction (1941). Read in I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I really like the end of this one. Exceeds expectations.

2022-11-29 “True Short Story” by Ali Smith

Two friends, waiting to know whether a $27,000 cancer drug will be paid for by NHS, joke about whether a short story is fuckable. Originally published in Prospect Magazine (2005). Read in The Broadview Introduction to Literature: Short Fiction 2nd Ed. A great example of “is this fiction?” complete with well-considered commentary on how feminism interacts with education, healthcare, and grief.

2022-11-24 “Family Cooking” by Ana Maria Curtis

Isa has known since elementary school that she has cooking magic, so why now, as she prepares to cook her mother’s wedding feast, does everything she makes turn to poison? Originally published in Uncanny Magazine (2022) (Read). Listened to on LeVar Burton Reads. A super interesting take on the theme of trusting one’s self.

2022-11-22 “The Tangerines” by Akutagawa Ryunosuke

The narrator endures the presence of a third-class passenger sitting in the second-class seat across from him. Read in “Remarks on Akutagawa’s Works: The Tangerines” (1918) (Read). I feel extremely uncomfortable when a character judges another character, by their class or otherwise because I have been judged, which I think is the message behind this story. I wonder what people who typically do the judging feel when they read a story like this? Do they get it?

2022-11-21 “The Gift of the Magi” by O Henry

Despite saving all year for her husband’s Christmas gift, Della only has a dollar eighty-seven, so decides to sell her greatest treasure. Originally published in The New Yorker Sunday World (1905) (Read). Listened to on 1001 Classic Short Stories & Tales podcast. This should have been the first short story I read, but instead, I waited too long and now I feel like I knew the whole thing before I read the words! I like the clever irony, but I’ve never been one for an explicit moral statement.

2022-11-20 “The Figure in the Carpet” by Henry James

A critic writes a rave review of his favourite author’s latest work, who tells him the review misses the point leaving the reviewer chasing endlessly after “the figure in the carpet.” Originally published in Cosmopolis. Read in The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James (Read). I like that the fascination with the secret is only secondary to the compounding effect it has on each of the characters. A story built on extremes.

2022-11-19 “How Peppa Loved Gramigna” by Giovanni Verga

Verga gives an example of a natural story—a slice of Peppa’s life. Originally published in Vita Dei Campi. Read in Under the Shadow of Etna (Read). An interesting early example of a “slice of life” story, but I don’t know that it denies rhetoric in the way he professes.

2022-11-18 “The Willow Walk” by Sinclair Lewis

The story of Jasper Holt, a nearly respectable bank teller and dabbler in community theatre from Vernon, Minnesota and his twin brother, John Holt, a religious zealot and recluse, from the nearby town of Rosebank. Originally published in The Saturday Evening Post (Read). Listened to on the LitReading podcast. I like how the entire story is action, fed to the reader line by line, and for most of it, I didn’t have enough information to know what was going on, yet I couldn’t stop reading.

2022-11-17 “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When Miss Cushing of Cross Street, Croydon receives a cardboard box containing course salt and two severed ears, Lestrade calls upon Holmes to investigate. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1893) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. The display of Holmes’s deductive reasoning is particularly satisfying in this one. I also like that Holmes seemed to hold back one of the important clues after Lestrade cuts him off.

2022-11-16 “The Adventure of the Western Star” by Agatha Christie

When two women are warned that their twin diamonds will be stolen, Poirot takes a personal interest in the case, which isn’t enough for Hastings. Originally published in Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie. Listened to on The Classic Tales Podcast. I find the dynamic between Poirot and Hastings a little too antagonistic. In this one, Hastings says “In spite of his idiosyncrasies I was deeply attached to my quaint little friend.” but it is hard to believe.

2022-11-15 “Down in the Dim Kingdoms” by Tobias Buckell

Kia Taylor is forced on a family vacation to the centre of the earth to placate her grandfather, but she is more obsessed with jealousy than her inheritance. Originally published in Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms edited by John Joseph Adams. Listened to on LeVar Burton Reads. The descent toward the centre of the earth and the climb toward the climax of the story are well-matched. Great story arc and a perfect ending.

2022-11-14 “The Adventure of Silver Blaze” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock and Watson assist in the case of the missing favourite for the Wessex Cup and the murder of his trainer. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. Instead of just confirming his suspicions, Sherlock seems to be figuring out the answers as he goes in this one.

2022-11-13 “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Violet Hunter receives a strange job offer: the post of governess for more than double the rate of her previous position if she will cut her long, copper-coloured hair, and takes the case to Sherlock Holmes. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. I enjoy Watson’s concern about Holmeses bachelor status and that Holmes remains oblivious as ever.

2022-11-12 “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mr. Alexander Holder takes the Beryl Coronet as collateral for a large loan and is promptly responsible for its damage and theft. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. We knew Mr. Holder was in trouble the moment he thought it was safer to keep “one of the most precious public possessions of the Empire” at his house rather than at the bank.

2022-11-11 “The Tragedy at Marsen Manor” by Agatha Christie

Poirot is called to investigate the life insurance claim of a man who appears to have committed suicide. Published in Poirot Investigates. Listened to on The Classic Tales Podcast. This is the second story in this book where Poirot plans some way to catch the criminal in the act off-stage. The story was still entertaining, but less satisfying.

2022-11-10 “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Lord St Simon’s bride disappears during the reception and he reluctantly shares the whole complicated story with Holmes.  Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. As much as I think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle intentionally depicts female characters as independent and intelligent, I think he also intentionally makes an ass of the trust fund baby men of the era. This is one of those stories.

2022-11-09 “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When Watson’s patient Mr. Hatherley is duped into a job that nearly cost him his life, they take the case to Sherlock Holmes. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. Even though this is a fun story, it’s always seemed a little far-fetched—something about the enormity of the machine that almost crushed Mr. Hatherley that doesn’t feel real. And while I’m here, the way the guard drops him in Mr. Watson’s surgery and then runs off feels like Doyle just needed a way to get the man to Holmes. Just have him knock on the door like everyone else!

2022-11-08 “#ClimbingNation” by Kim Fu

April embellishes her relationship to an Instagram-famous climber who died in a tragic accident and finds herself piecing together the real story of his death amongst his closest friends. Published in Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century: Stories. Listened to on LeVar Burton Reads. An interesting take on a story told over and over in social media. Deliciously uncomfortable the whole way through.

2022-11-07 “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When Helen Stoner has the same strange experiences as her sister did before she died, she calls on Sherlock Holmes. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. It means so much to me throughout this book, and this story especially, how Sherlock Holmes is never dismissive of women. Also, Dr. Grimesby Roylott is my very favourite fictional character name of all time. 

2022-11-06 “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock and Watson follow a straight-laced man who has recently turned to a life of crime. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1892) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. I know Holmes follows his own rules, but I’m always a little surprised when he takes justice into his own hands. 

2022-11-05 “The Man With the Twisted Lip” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Watson is on a mission to extract Kate Whitney’s husband from an opium den when he finds the shrivelled figure of Sherlock Holmes. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1891) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. A compelling commentary on the role of money in society, particularly in the lives of men. It is strange there was no resolution to Mr. Whitney’s plotline.

2022-11-04 “The Five Orange Pips” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

John Openshaw hires Sherlock Holmes when receives five orange pips in the mail: the very same turn of events that precipitated his father and uncle’s mysterious deaths. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1891) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. This story and “A Case of Identity” make me wonder if Doyle is using these plots to raise awareness of women’s and civil rights. I like that not all of Sherlock’s cases are solvable, but are deemed just as important to include in Watson’s collection.

2022-11-03 “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Alice Turner hires Sherlock to prove the innocence of her childhood friend James McCarthy, who is accused of murdering his father. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1891) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. I like that the end is left a bit undone.

2022-11-02 “A Case of Identity” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mary Sutherland employs Holmes to discover what happened to her missing fiancé. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1891) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. I like how Holmes stands by and validates the fears of a woman in the same way he would with any of his male clients. Also, I’m a sucker for a typewriter cameo.

2022-11-01 “I was a Teenage Space Jockey” by Stephen Graham Jones

Rance’s little brother, baby Red, sets out with his best friend Marten to make a name for himself at the arcade in his brother’s absence. Originally published in Lightspeed Magazine (2021) (Read). Listened to on LeVar Burton Reads. I love Jones’ ability to convincingly show what matters through the eyes of a child.

October

2022-10-31 “The Red-Headed League” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mr Wilson is taken in by a suspicious opportunity afforded him by the colour of his hair. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1891) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. A great story about the power of belonging.

2022-10-30 “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is bested by the woman who will always be the woman. Originally published in The Strand magazine (1891) (Read). Listened to on Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Frye. The disguise. The twist. The humility. This story is everything.

2022-10-29 “Runaround” by Isaac Asimov

Powel and Donovan are on Mercury to revive an old mining operation when Robot SPD-13’s unexpected behaviour threatens the mission and their lives. Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine (Astounding Science Fiction). Read in I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I like how the humans must work around the laws of robotics to get a job done, but the story’s purpose seems contrived to make the laws explicit.

2022-10-13 “The Machine Stops” by E M Forster

In a world where humans isolate themselves comfortably in a single room where they can summon anything they need, Vashti’s son Kuno begs her to come to him in person, to his room across the world. Originally published in The Oxford and Cambridge Review. Listened to on Hugonauts: The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time podcast. This is one of those stories where the change in the central character is subtle, but the change in me will stay with me for a long time.

2022-10-09 “The Scientific Cracksman” by Arthur B Reeve

Craig must solve the mystery of why a safecracker broke into a safe but left all the money. Originally published in The Silent Bullet by Arthur B Reeve (1910). Listened to on The Classic Tales Podcast. My first of Reeve’s short stories. Obviously, he is playing off of the Sherlock-Watson creation but does a good job.

2022-10-04 “On The River” by Guy de Maupassant

The narrator tells the story of an old boating man stranded alone in his boat one night because his anchor was caught. Originally published in Sur l’eau by Guy de Maupassant. Listened to on Scary Stories podcast (Read). The double 1st person POV is an interesting way to tell this thriller because the reader knows that both narrators lived to tell the tale.

2022-10-03 “Two Gentle People” by Graham Greene

An American, Henry C. Greaves, and a Francaise, Marie-Claire Duval, meet randomly in a park and begin talking after they witness a tragic incident together. It is the trappings of every extra-marital affair meet-cute since Chekhov’s “The Lady With the Dog.” Originally published in May We Borrow Your Husband? by Graham Greene. Read in Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary 2nd Ed. I enjoyed the play on the reader’s expectations of marriage and infidelity.

September

2022-09-28 “The Goruden-Mairu Job” by TR Napper

Toshiro Sanada submits to the questioning of Lieutenant Sato to honour Suzy, according to the version he remembers. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). The deeper into Toshi’s mind we went, the more lost in the story I became. By the end, I was devastated.

2022-09-27 “Terms and Conditions: A Decayed London Story” by Joseph Elliott-Coleman

Ursula is back from the front lines and is ready to confront her past. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). I really like the premise of this story but the lack of obstacles for the protagonist just didn’t satisfy me.

2022-09-26 “Digital Salt” by Corey J White

Harper’s hopes are limited to a promotion with worse hours at the same pay until they meet Rayna. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). An interesting take on the epistolary form. I like the genre-bending between a cyberpunk love story and literary fiction.

2022-09-25 “VR Enclave” by DA Xiaolin Spires

A gamer is coaxed from the depths of a VR OD by a random older woman and claims she wasn’t trying to escape, but maybe she was. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). A cute little number with all the pieces of a fine story.

2022-09-24 “Elijah of the Thousand Faces” by Gary Gibson

Rather than pay the extortionist, Elijah pays to inhabit a proxy on the outside in hopes of finding out who’s trying to take him down. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). I loved this story until the resolution. Not that it was bad, it just had the potential to be really good.

2022-09-24 “The Thirteenth Clone of Casimir Ivanovitch” by John Courtenay Grimwood

A boy finds a pod with a live clone and is unable to leave it to die alone. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). Classic cyberpunk worldbuilding (though I can’t speak for the accuracy of the Japanese references), but I never felt the central character was truly in danger.

2022-09-23 “Accumulated Damage” by Simon Morden

Maké is a hired gun growing ever more desperate to give into temptation. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). This piece seems like the inciting incident and builds toward a longer story that just ends after the protagonist meets their first obstacle.

2022-09-23 “Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan” by Agatha Christie

Poirot and Hastings happen to meet Mr and Mrs Opalson on the very night the lady’s pearls go missing. Originally published in The Sketch magazine, listened to on The Classic Tales Podcast (Listen). My first of Agatha Christie’s short stories! I enjoyed her multiple suspects, but it’s hard not to think of Poirot and Hastings a copy of Sherlock and Watson.

2022-09-22 “A Game of Clones” by Justina Robson

If humans were kept in a biologically dynamic terrarium within a space-traveling entity and only the humans of one entity had the power to save the world of another. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). I love the premise and the resolution of this story but the climax didn’t satisfy.

2022-09-21 “We Appreciate Power” by Gavin Smith

A contract extractor realizes he’s been duped into kidnapping a child for conspiracy theorists. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). For a non-farcical satire to be clever, it needs to make sense as a satire and as a straight narrative. There were too many moments where this felt like the satire was being pushed for me.

2022-09-20 “Collision Detection” by Tim Maughan

A man can finally be there for his partner, half a world away, thanks to the best tech their positions can afford them. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). One of the strongest stories in the book⁠—excellent premise, perfect ending.

2022-09-19 “Tabula Rasa” by Danie Ware

With an implant and directives she doesn’t trust, she is fighting for memories and consciousness. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). I’m not a huge fan of “confused MC equals confused reader” stories, but I like this one. Solid ending.

2022-09-18 “Mindstrings” by Jeremy Szal

Jyn connects to a social media greater than anything we can imagine and loses his ability to think, to be, without it. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). The central character going from straight edge to full-blown addict in the span of the introduction was a little too cautionary tale for me.

2022-09-17 “The Problem of the Superfluous Finger” by Jaques Futrelle

Dr Prescott employs The Thinking Machine to find out why a woman was so intent on having her fingertip removed that she shot it off herself. Originally published in Associated Sunda Magazines, listened to on The Classic Tales Podcast (Listen). I feel like The Thinking Machine is a Sherlock Holmes forgery. This story doesn’t have as much detail as Doyle’s stories, but I wonder if there are stories that are comparable, or even better?

2022-09-15 “Soldier of Fortune” by Bret Anthony Johnston

Josh is in love with Holly, in a defend-her-honour kind of way, except she calls him cousin and congratulates him on his made-up exploits with other girls. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). A very relatable coming-of-age story. Simple and plain.

2022-09-14 “The Still Small Voice” by Louise Carey

John is late again, and if a “quick chat” with Amanda isn’t punishment enough, listening to her lap dog Brian evangelize an artificial stimulant-free life might be enough to push him over the edge. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). I love the description of what all this fancy tech does when your subscription runs out. Also, the ending.

2022-09-13 “Assets” by Keith Brooke and Eric Brown

On their reckless quest for novelty, the consciousness inhabiting Eli Dakane sees the perfect opportunity in an unexpected encounter with an old friend. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). The premise is interesting but the writing is inconsistent and cliché.

2022-09-12 “Forever in Scotland” by Callum McSorley

Dana desperately needs the cashish to get her and her maw out of Scotland, a sum only possible by confronting the mogul grandfather she’s never really known. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley. A compelling story told in present tense.

2022-09-11 “Truth and Fiction” by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Clive Peters’ imagination got him into a hairy situation, and it seems that self-same imagination will be his only way out. Originally titled “The Stranger With a Bag.” Listened to on The New Yorker: Fiction podcast (Listen)(Read behind paywall). It is extra satisfying when a story begins with the middling day-to-day and culminates in a gothic horror mic drop.

2022-09-06 “Evolution” by Joan Silber

Cara runs away with Brody, who she is endeared to by his body rather than love or adoration. Listened to on The Writer’s Voice podcast (Listen)(Read). A modernist literary fiction story with subtle story elements. I enjoyed the nostalgic representation of the 80s.

2022-09-05 “All the Precious Years” by Al Robertson

Laurent battles multinational hackers as a contract neurotech operative, but he can’t save his mother from dementia. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley. Robertson’s imagery and worldbuilding are compelling, but the story could have used a heavier editing hand for clarity and at times conciseness.

2022-09-04 “Four Green Fields, and Fair” by Ian McDonald

Corporate sponsorship, rebranding, and agents are just a part of Ciara’s superhero life—strut, battle, pose, repeat. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley. I like stories with a realistic take on something we romanticize. Super immersive story with a catchy premise.

2022-09-03 “Trash” by Souvankham Thammavongsa

A woman gets swept off her feet by a wealthy man she meets in her cashier line at the grocery store only to become the pet project of his mother. Listened to on The Writer’s Voice podcast (Listen)(Read). I like how this story makes us question the various masks people wear before we find out who they are and what they really think.

back to top

August

2022-08-26 “Hello, Goodbye” Steward Hotston

Itsay is satisfied that he has worked hard enough to be digitally transferred to another body when the virus finally takes him, but unfortunately, success isn’t as simple as that. From Night, Rain, and Neon: A New Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Michael Cobley (2022). I like the premise and the ending of this story, but it is a little bit loose.

2022-08-25 “Ghetto University” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

James takes up mugging to keep him and his wife from being evicted when he can’t find employment at a university. But he doesn’t carry a weapon or make demands of his “patrons”, so he’s more of an aggressive beggar? Originally published in The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories by Maurice Carlos Ruffin. Listened to on the Ursa Short Fiction podcast (Listen). I liked the ending of this one, but I felt the premise has been done.

2022-08-22 “You Tell Me” by Clare Sestanovich

Rachel, Janet’s oldest, suggests Janet go spend some time with Sasha, her youngest, to comfort her during a depressive episode, but being there is about as far as she gets. Originally published in The New Yorker (2022) (Read). Listened to on The Writer’s Voice podcast (Listen).

2022-08-22 “Elmhurst” by Han Ong

Shara is brilliant enough to transcend Elmhurst, though her mother doubts her dedication, citing the distracting boy in the window. Originally published in The New Yorker (2022) (Read). Listened to on The Writer’s Voice podcast (Listen). Shara isn’t exactly likeable and I like that.

2022-08-21 “The Muddle” by Sana Krasikov

Shura and Alyona have been friends since their school days but lately, with war and pride, it has been hard for Shura to reach Alyona. Originally published in The New Yorker (2022) (Read). Listened to on The Writer’s Voice podcast (Listen). The story felt a little loose at the beginning but tightened up about two-thirds in. I liked the ending.

2022-08-21 “The Flier” by Joseph O’Neill

What exactly happens when you suddenly have the ability to fly. Originally published in The New Yorker (2019). Read in Reverse Engineering edited by Tom Conaghan (2022). I think I am developing a passion for speculative fiction. I enjoy the way that the fantastic is woven with the ordinary in this story.

2022-08-20 “Filamo” by Irenosen Okojie

In Filamo’s pocket is a tongue and the fate of monks. Originally published in An Unreliable Guide to London edited by Kit Caless (2016). Read in Reverse Engineering edited by Tom Conaghan (2022). Part of expiramentalism/absurdism. Many interesting images, but it didn’t really add up for me. I like the unexpectedness of the central character.

2022-08-20 “Skyscrapers” by Alejandro Zambra (Translated by Megan McDowell)

Breaking out from under his father’s thumb, he finds solace in her instead of himself. From The New Yorker (2022). Listened to on The Writer’s Voice podcast (Listen). I like the intimacy of a character in this story also being the listener.

2022-08-09 “The Age of Lead” by Margaret Atwood

Jane doesn’t watch much tv because it is too close to real life, but tonight she is watching the unearthing of the preserved remains of a man who died during the Franklin Expedition as she considers her descent into exactly who her mother thought she would become. Originally published in Toronto Life (1989). Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). This one explores the paradox of being an independent woman, and being bread to be fulfilled by family. Still relevant.

2022-08-08 “Uncles” by Margaret Atwood

After Susanna’s father dies, her uncles step in to help her mother out and instill in her the loving support she can expect from a man. Real men, it turns out, aren’t that loving or supportive. Originally published in Saturday Night (1990). Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). It is incredible how one unexplainable betrayal can undo all the trust a person has in themself. Still relevant.

2022-08-06 “Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood

With the death of her husband and the boys out of the house, Lois is subsumed by a second shadowy life. Originally published in Saturday Night (1989). Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). One of those stories that begins at the end. I’m not sure how I feel about the exposition when Lois is in the camp founder’s office. Is it too grown up?

2022-08-05 “A Dill Pickle” by Katherine Mansfield

When Vera comes across a former lover and they get to reminiscing, she wonders if her memories paint an accurate picture of this man she loved. Originally published in New Age Magazine (1917) (Read). Read in Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary, 2nd Ed. (1989). A compelling take on memory and relationships that continues to be relevant more than 100 years later.

2022-08-03 “The Bog Man” by Margaret Atwood

In a time before sexual harassment, Julie seduced her professor. Originally published in Playboy (1991) (Read). Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). I like that this was published in Playboy but I am also bothered by the fact that their readers wouldn’t be offended by this piece. I enjoyed the presence of knitting and that the knitting speaks for itself. (I am obviously still in a mood.)

2022-08-02 “Lost in the Funhouse” by John Barth

Ambrose is a precocious child and analyses himself as only a precocious child written by an adult would. The first publication is impossible to find because it comes from a collection of the same name. Read in Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary, 2nd Ed. (1989). A postmodern story intentionally working against realism. Interesting shifts in POV but I am in a mood these days and this one tested my patience.

2022-08-01 “Isis in Darkness” by Margaret Atwood

Richard desperately tries to piece together Selina’s life. Or Selina. Or himself. Originally published in Granta (1990) (Read). Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). The ultimate pretentious poet trying not to be pretentious. Sometimes I never want to read another 80s/90s short story.

back to top

July

2022-07-30 “Hairball” by Margaret Atwood

Kat goes in for an ovarian cyst and the magazine muddles on without her. Originally published in The New Yorker as “Kat” in 1990. Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). An exemplary introduction. The first few paragraphs are a perfect example of when George Saunders talks about good writing being a sentence that makes you want to read the next sentence.

2022-07-29 “True Trash” by Margaret Atwood

Joanne of the staff and Donny of the campers relay their respective sides to the story of their last summer at Camp Adanaqui. Read in Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (1991). This story ended exactly when it should of and I hated it. Beautiful.

2022-07-19 “The Egg” by Sherwood Anderson

A young man surmises how he attributes becoming a glooming man to his father’s seeming obsession with eggs. Originally published in 1921. Read in Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary, 2nd Ed. Lately, I am especially annoyed by the whining of white, middle-class, American men. Besides that, it was good.

2022-07-19 “Or Just After” by Liza Wieland

Nisha and her boyfriend have just broken up and she needs to make a decision that is all her own, even if it is the wrong one. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). The kind of coming-of-age moment where you stand by a character struggling to make the choice that’s good for them.

2022-07-18 “One Flap of a Storm Crow’s Wings” by Jamie Perrault

Algar the traveller shelters his baby and a lost little boy from a raging storm, then as he is bid by his god, helps the boy reconcile to the destruction of his home. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). Has compelling bones, but it feels a little raw.

2022-07-17 “Margins of Snow” by Brigitte de Valk

Jaqueline’s mother dies suspiciously and while she awaits each step of the investigation, she roils in grief. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). My personal preference has never been for poetic short stories, but this line: Nocturnality had infected her. The morning was a thought that she knew existed, deep inside her, but had not witnessed in such a while. There are many more like it.

2022-07-16 “The Last Airport in America” by Holden Wertheimer-Meier

You are in the midst of nuclear war but running for safety (they promised). From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I liked the premise of this one, and how he resolved it.

2022-07-15 “Care Instructions for Your Cryogenically Frozen Mother” by Helena Pantsis

Instead of death, your mother chooses to be frozen in time, but can you keep her alive? From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I enjoyed Pantsis’ take on the parent-child relationship. I think flash pieces are better for anthologies than novellas!

2022-07-15 “One of These Days” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Aurelio Escovar, a dentist without a degree, must remove the mayor’s tooth or die. Published in Los funerales de la Mama Grande (1962). I love the demonstration of power in this story.

2022-07-14 “Of Elwood and Stones and Guilded Bones” by Mei Davis

Living with the exiled on the outskirts of the village, you work and rise through the ranks as you have again and again. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). A compelling rescue mission that could take place in the past or the future. It was a bit long.

2022-07-14 “Disloyal Order” by Courtney Smyth

It has always been Emma and Fi. Fi and Emma. Except Emma always comes first. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I like the way that the plot embodies the coming-of-age story.

2022-07-13 “Where the Sun is Always Setting” by Daniel Ray

After seven years, Luis is the last of the original survivors tending the fires. New, younger burners are coming on and he finds himself tending them as well. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). This is a truly satisfying story. I love how smoothly Ray shifts between dialogue, action and exposition.

2022-07-13 “A Man is Fishing on the Bank of a River” by Samuel Skuse

The man and the fish have an agreement that he will enjoy the fishing, then buy fresh fish on his way home. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I like the premise of this story, but the continuity is a little off.

2022-07-13 “Tim, the Lantern Holder” by Sandy Parsons

Tim must decide if adulation is worth the price of his dreams. If he can remember them, that is. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I like the way this flash piece seamlessly crosses over from real to fantastic.

2022-07-13 “Overspill” by Aoife Esmonde

A new mother must balance her baby’s incessant need to feed with her own. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I like the twists and turns of the plot in this story.

2022-07-13 “Tongues/Lips/Wrists/Teeth” by Kasandra Ferguson

Eileen needs more and more alcohol to numb the change that will overtake her anyway. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). If you liked Mrs. Fox by Sarah Hall, you will like this story.

2022-07-13 “Tin Can Elegy” by Tessa Swack-Hammer

Kid wishes to be the biggest, to have a name, and to have someone to call it, but what she has is a makeshift scimitar. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). I like a story that gets a little grim.

2022-07-13 “A November Storm” by Chris Bogle

Harry, a 73-year-old retired metal worker, thinks about death often but does things he doesn’t enjoy to avoid it. From The Last Five Minutes of a Storm edited by Sam Agar, Paula Dias Garcia, and Marc Clohessy (2022). Every page I turned I hoped he wouldn’t end it there.

2022-07-01 “The Pill” by Meg Elison

She’s called munchkin because she’s always munching, not because she’s small. In fact, she’s fat, and so was her whole family. Published in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol 2 (2021) (Read). Everyone needs to read this story and then have a good long think. I love Meg’s subversion of skinny culture.

2022-07-01 “The Devil Buys Us Cheap and the Devil Buys in Bulk” by M Bennardo

Carita gets what she needs but can’t take it without knowing how. Published in Mathila Review (2019) (Read). I’m a bit neutral about this story, though I enjoyed the exploration of who has the authority to proclaim a sin a sin.

back to top

June

2022-06-29 “The Professor’s Houses” by Ursula K Le Guin

The professor has two houses, one inside the other. Published in The New Yorker (1982). The development of the central character’s motivations was particularly well done in this story.

2022-06-29 “Gooseberries” by Anton Chekhov

Ivan Ivanych regales his friends Berkin, a high school teacher, and Alyohin, a gentleman farmer, with the moral tale of his brother’s successes. Originally published in Russkaya Mysl (1898) (Read). An excellent satirical examination of the division of class.

2022-06-08 “Hair” by Mahreen Sohail

When the boyfriend’s mother loses all her hair in illness and the boy doesn’t have enough hair for a wig, the girlfriend makes the necessary sacrifice. From Granta (2020) (Read with paywall), read in Reverse Engineering (2022). I like the way the POV reveals the way that women are brought up to think about the action they take in relationships.

2022-06-07 “Feast” by Ross Showalter
A sole Deaf person goes to a hearing party. He wanted to do something different, but it ends up being the same. From The Rumpus (2022) (Read). Every scene break brought that tiny pit of dread that there might be none left to read. Especially the end.

2022-06-06 “A Monster in the Shape of a Boy” by Hannah Yang

When Peng freezes the first time he comes face to face with the Yaoguai on his own, his training increases, but he can’t seem to shake his doubts. From Apex Magazine (2022) (Read) In true short story fashion: when you get to the end, you will want to read it again.

back to top

May

2022-05-16 “Theophrastus and the Dancing Plague” by Jessie Greengrass

Paracelsus, a wandering physician, alchemist, heretic, and mercenary reports on the dancing plague of 1526 in kind of a judgy way. Originally published in An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It: A John Murray Original by Jessie Greengrass (2015). From Reverse Engineering edited by Tom Conaghan (2022). A historical fiction account of a time that has never interested me, so if I am honest, I had a hard time getting into this story. Greengrass wrote it beautifully and represented the short story form well⁠—it just isn’t a story I would choose to read.

2022-05-15 “The First Punch” by John McGregor

A man is reeling from a sucker punch to the gut when he recalls the first him this man’s wife touched him, along the back of his head and down the nape of his neck. Originally published in Granta (2003) (Read). From Reverse Engineering edited by Tom Conaghan (2022). I enjoyed the tension McGregor builds by switching between the harsh reality of the present and the haziness of the past.

2022-05-14 “Mrs Fox” by Sarah Hall

He loves his wife more than she loves him so it hurts all the more that she is slipping from his grasp. Originally published in Madame Zero: 9 Stories by Sarah Hall. Read in Reverse Engineering edited by Tom Conaghan (2022). The more I think about it, the more I love this story.

2022-05-13 “The Crossing” by Chris Power

One day into a four-day hike with a guy she’d met only a couple of weeks before, Ann is regretting she’d done more than just sleep with him. Originally published in Mothers: Stories by Chris Power. Read in Reverse Engineering edited by Tom Conaghan (2022). I like the way that backstory is woven in and I love the end.

2022-05-12 “Missing Link” by Frank Herbert

Taking a suicide mission is a quick way to move up in the ranks or . . . Originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction (1953) (Read). Read in Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories (2010). I like that the fate of Orne could have gone either way in the end.

2022-05-11 “The Defenders” by Philip K Dick

The humans have gone below ground while the earth recovers from nuclear fallout, and on his day off Taylor gets a promotion he’s not sure he wants. Originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction (1953) (Read). Read in Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories (2010). I like the portrayal of nationalism. I will definitely re-read and recommend this one.

2022-05-10 “The Winds of Time” by James H Schmidtz

While mysterious Mr Maulbow is still unconscious, Gefty persuades the old man’s assistant to help him uncover what kind of cargo he’s brought on board. Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact (1962) (Read). Read in Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories (2010). This one is more of a novelette (it is 12 000 words, after all). I like how Schmidtz approaches the question of intelligence.

2022-05-09 “Worst-Case Scenario” by Kevin Wilson

He’s going to go bald and Stella has left him, but. At least there’s a but. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). You know when people find out how you really are and expect you to change? This story is about that but also not.

2022-05-08 “the Museum of Whatnot” by Kevin Wilson

Janey is the caretaker and sole employee of the Carl Jensen Museum of Whatnot and her mother is concerned that she is going to wake up one day with no children and surrounded by a bunch of things. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). This one, of course, reminds me of autistic special interests and what it is like to find another person as nerdy as me.

2022-05-07 “Go, Fight, Win” by Kevin Wilson

Penny is new at school and her friendship with a kid in her neighbourhood complicates any desire she has to fit in. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). A little long but sweetly nostalgic.

2022-05-06 “The Choir Director Affair (the baby’s teeth)” by Kevin Wilson

This story is about the biology teacher having an affair with the choir director and definitely not the baby with a full set of teeth. Originally published in The Carolina Quarterly (2004). From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009) The imagery is disturbingly and deliciously vivid in this one.

2022-05-05 “The Shooting Man” by Kevin Wilson

Guster wants to see Bullet guy shoot himself in the face more than anything, something he wouldn’t feel bad about if it weren’t for Sue-Bee. Originally published in Meridian. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). Super satisfying ending.

2022-05-04 “Tunneling to the Center of the Earth” by Kevin Wilson

A trio of newly minted college graduates with meaningless degrees start digging and find a sense of purpose they didn’t know they needed. Originally published in The Frostproof Review and Barcelona Review. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009) (Read). A very relatable story about transitioning between college and real life.

2022-05-03 “Mortal Kombat” by Kevin Wilson

Scotty and Wynn are very unpopular and study random facts in the A/V room at lunch. They’re all each other has. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). This story is really about internalized homophobia and the way we learn to abuse ourselves and each other. This story is devastating and excellent.

2022-05-01 “The Moon is Green” by Fritz Leiber

Effie has been quarantined in nuclear shelters with Hank for more than two years and the desire to see beauty is overwhelming her. Originally published in Galaxy (1952). From Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories (2010) (Read). It is uncomfortable to read dystopian fiction written in the 50s and feel like it could still come true. I like this one.

back to top

April

2022-04-29 “Birds in the House” by Kevin Wilson

12-year-old Smokey Collier is to determine the outcome of the contest that will decide which of his grandmother’s sons will win what remains of the family wealth, or maybe end the family feud forever. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). Originally published in The Greensboro Review (2005) (Read). Wilson’s command of the red-neck way of talking brought me right back to listening to my dad when he got riled up about something. I love the ending.

2022-04-28 “The Dead Sister Handbook: a guide for sensitive boys” by Kevin Wilson

A (questionably) sensitive little brother reveals an excerpt (Laconic Method thru Near Misses) of his survival guide in case of a dead sister. From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). I like how this story walks the fine line of “wait, what?” and ends perfectly.

2022-04-27 “Blowing Up on the Spot” by Kevin Wilson

Leonard’s parents exploded and while he waits to explode himself, he finds himself living his life. Originally published in Ploughshares (2003). From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). This is one of those stories that has so much room to analyze for symbols and messages. Also, the characters are quite autistic. Would recommend.

2022-04-26 “Grand Stand-In” by Kevin Wilson

An elderly woman, prized for her ability to disconnect, is a stand-in grandmother to five “fams” for an agency that connects grandparents with families. They would like her to take on an additional, very unusual placement. Originally published in The Cincinnati Review 2,2 (2005). From Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson (2009). A good story about how much one person’s heart can handle.

2022-04-24 “The Crowd” by Ray Bradbury

When Mr. Spallner regains consciousness, lying on the ground after an accident, he is consumed by the fact that a crowd had gathered before the wheels on his car stopped spinning. (1943) (Listen) In addition to enjoying characters that aren’t who they say they are, I also like a character who can’t let something go. Nice, short little tale.

2022-04-23 “Alluvial Deposits” by Percival Everett

Not many people want to be hydrologists, and not because Robert Hawks, a contract hydrologist for the Utah Department of Agriculture and the Fish and Game Commission, just got shot at. From Story (1998) (Listen). Cleanly written.

2022-04-22 “Radha, Krishna” by Neel Patel

It is several years after Anjali and Ankur hook up and she is married with children, but can only think of him. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). I am not one for epistolary fiction, but the further I read, the more captivated I was by the narrator’s voice. Also, I am a sucker for plots that are anchored to other texts.

2022-04-21 “World Famous” by Neel Patel

Ankur is on a bender after not matching when he hooks up with Anjali and narrowly avoids putting the two of them at the center of community gossip. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). I liked this story, and I liked it even more after I read the linked story that follows it.

2022-04-20 “The Husband Stitch” by Carmen Maria Machado

She keeps one thing for herself and gives him everything else. Spoiler alert: It’s still not enough. From Granta Magazine (2014) (Read) (Listen). Now, this is a retelling! Machado brings “The Green Ribbon” into the 21st century.

2022-04-20 “An Arrangement” by Neel Patel

Rupa Varma never wanted to marry Akhil, but she doesn’t want anyone else to have him either. Originally from The Southampton Review (2016), read in If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). I like the premise of this story, but it doesn’t quite come together at the end. Maybe that’s the point.

2022-04-19 “These Things Happen” by Neel Patel

Despite who his family is, where he lives, and who he seems to be, he doesn’t seem to belong, and neither does Tara. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). I like it when the main character can’t stick to their aforementioned moral code.

2022-04-18 “The Other Language” by Neel Patel

An Indian-American teen visits his father’s homeland of Kenya and quickly realizes the price of entitlement. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). The ending is more satisfying than the beginning.

2022-04-18 “Singing on a Star” by Ellen Klages

Becka is six and wants to be treated like a big girl, but when she goes to Jamie’s for a sleepover she isn’t so sure she’s ready to do big girl things. From Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages (2017) (Listen). I liked this one: creepy enough to make you think, but not so creepy that you don’t sleep.

2022-04-17 “Little Man” by Michael Cunningham

Rumplestiltskin wants to have a child more than anything else, and as with all fairy tales, he doesn’t realize what “anything else” means. From The New Yorker (2015) (Read) (Listen). This retelling didn’t really bring anything new to the story that hasn’t been done before (I may love the Once Upon A Time interpretation until I die).

2022-04-17 “The Taj Mahal” by Neel Patel

It’s Christmas and Sabrina is home where she runs into Mallory and everything else she intended to avoid. Originally published in Indiana Review (2017). From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). Slice of life. In other words, a bit long, but worth it. I think Patel writes female main characters well.

2022-04-16 “If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi” by Neel Patel

Premel Patel’s brother Deepak is the screw-up, which makes Premel the good son. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). Slice of life. In other words, a bit long, but worth it.

2022-04-16 “A Martian Oddyssey” by Stanley G Weinbaum

Dick Jarvis regales the crew of the Ares—Putz, Leroy, and Harrison—of the ten days he spent on Mars’ surface when his auxiliary rocket goes down. Originally published in Wonder Stories (1934). From Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories (2010) (Read). This story is why the theory exists that we aren’t able to leave our galaxy because alien life doesn’t think we’re ready (spoiler alert: we haven’t grown at all since 1934).

2022-04-15 “All Cats are Grey” by Andre Norton

The adventure of Steena, Bat, and Cliff Moran on the Empress of Mars is a story that will become a legend to future space travellers. Originally printed under her pen name, Andrew North in Fantastic Universe (1953). From Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories (2010) (Read). This story made me roll my eyes but in the old-science-fiction-story kind of way.

2022-04-15 “Just a Friend” by Neel Patel

John dreamed that one day a man would come along and reinvent him somehow, but he didn’t see Ashwin coming. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018) (In Hyphen 2017) (Read). The choice of first-person POV is perfect: its intimacy protects the story’s secrets.

2022-04-14 “The Door in the Wall” by HG Wells

Lionel Wallace spends his life intent on getting back to the enchanted garden beyond the door in the wall. From The Door in the Wall, and Other Stories (1911) (Read) (Listen). At 40 years old, I have already discovered the best line ever written in any short story: “Perhaps I was suffering a little from overwork—perhaps it was what I’ve heard spoken of as the feeling of forty. This story does not disappoint.

2022-04-14 “Hey Loser” by Neel Patel

One day, Raj is meticulously organizing his medical school notes, and the next he can’t think of anything but Eun-ji. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). I liked the premise of this story but the amount of backstory felt disproportionate to the ending.

2022-04-13 “A Good Friday” by Barbara Jenkins

The smooth operation of playboy KarlLee is on shaky ground before the impregnable Sunity. From Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean (2014) (Listen). My favourite part of this story is the richly layered character of Sunity its increasing contrast with the unfortunate character of KarlLee.

2022-04-12 “Hare Rama, Hare Krishna” by Neel Patel

Samir falls in love for the first time while his father flip-flops between his wife and his mistress. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). A coming-out story, a love story, and an enjoyable cup of tea.

2022-04-11 “God of Destruction” by Neel Patel

Anita Gundapaneni does the uncomfortable but comforting things we do when we are feeling rejected and unloved. From If You Se Mee, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel (2018). A story that made me feel uncomfortably seen. Don’t read into that. Also, I think a short story with a female protagonist might be a great way for a male writer to start a collection.

2022-04-08 “A Sign for a Sparrow” by Madeleine L’Engle

Robert Stephens may not be the best cryptologist, but he’s the only one small enough to complete the mission. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). I often forget how religious L’Engle was, but there it is!

2022-04-07 “That Which is Left” by Madeleine L’Engle

Martin left Matilda to look after their ailing parents and told her that if she sent for him, he would come. And he does. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). A beautiful “people can’t change who they are” sort of tale.

2022-04-06 “Poor Little Saturday” by Madeleine L’Engle

Running from the pain of malaria, a boy ends up under the care of a witch woman and without realizing the cost of his joy, falls in love with her granddaughter. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). I enjoyed L’Engle’s take on Southern Gothic.

2022-03-05 “Where I’m Calling From” by Raymond Carver

A man has his girlfriend drive him to Frank Martin’s drying-out facility where he sobers up to the stories of Joe Penny, a fellow former drunk. From The New Yorker (1982) (Listen). This story represents the understated image of alcoholism that I grew up with in the 80s and made me wish it was true.

2022-04-05 “The Fact of the Matter” by Madeleine L’Engle

Old Mrs. Campbell is convinced that the young Mrs. Campbell has it in for her and implores Madeleine Franklin to help her escape. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). I feel like L’Engle was exploring a different genre with this one, but doesn’t quite get there.

2022-04-04 “The Foreigners” by Madeleine L’Engle

Safely the old newcomer, Madeleine stands idly by as the Brechsteins (the new-newcomers to Mt. George) make all the wrong moves. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). Explores the rotating positions that exist within a population, but doesn’t really offer anything new.

2022-04-03 “Daddy” by Damion Wilson

On top of holding the threads of her family together when tragedy strikes again and again, Tanya is coming to terms with her father’s new ability to teleport into and out of her life. From New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean edited by Karen Lord (Listen). Some stories make me feel better about losing my father—this is one of them.

2022-04-03 “The Moment of Tenderness” by Madeleine L’Engle

Stella is a newcomer to Mt. George and finds herself falling in love with the country doctor’s hands. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). The thought of an affair makes me sad, but somehow L’Engle makes the idea seem so beautifully innocent.

back to top

March

2022-03-31 “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by DH Lawrence

Paul discovers his luck in his desperation to solve his mother’s money troubles. From Harper’s Bazaar (1926) (Read) (Listen). Early magical realism and a satisfying little ending: I liked it.

2022-03-30 “The Foreign Agent” by Madeleine L’Engle

Amy attempts to work her way out from under her mother—sorry, Angel‘s thumb and out into the big wide world. Alone, preferably. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). A cute little coming-of-age tale that is worth reading for L’Engle’s ability to get inside a young adult’s mind.

2022-03-29 “Julio at the Party” by Madeleine L’Engle

Rebecca and John try to keep things light between John’s colleagues from the university and Rebecca’s friends; thankfully the largest room in their apartment is a combined kitchen and bathroom. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). A very satisfying short-story-y short story.

2022-03-26 “Anatomy of Miracles” by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko

Lucy and the miracle worker are living different lives in very different dimensions and yet their story is the same. From Escape Pod (2020) (Read & Listen). I enjoyed the tension and pacing of this story, but I wanted the link between the characters to feel a little tighter.

2022-03-25 “Dark Spaces on the Map” by Anjali Sachdeva

A woman being interviewed for her memories decides which to reveal to the interviewer. From All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva (2018) (Read) (Listen). I like this story but it didn’t pull me in as deeply as I would have thought.

2022-03-24 “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane

Four survivors of a shipwreck navigating the open sea in a dinghy approach land, and hopefully, rescue. From Scribner’s Magazine (1897) (Read) (Listen). I enjoyed not knowing exactly what was happening as the story neared the end.

2022-03-24 “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang

An android tries to figure out what is causing the turret clocks of the surrounding towns to slow down. From Eclipse 2 edited by Jonathan Strahan (2014) (Read) (Listen). I am a sucker for androids who are sympathetic to humans, so this story is in my wheelhouse. I do wish the end was a little tighter though.

2022-03-23 “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” by Neil Gaiman

A man is devastated to find that along with words, he is forgetting the writer he most admires. From Gizmodo (2012) (Read). This story is built on the mastery of drawing connections between people, literature and time.

2022-03-23 “A Dark Brown Dog” by Stephen Crane

A child comes across a dog that, despite being in turns abused and beloved by him, is eternally devoted to him. From Cosmopolitan (1901) (Read). This story is powerful in itself, but the additional layer of allegory makes it a classic.

2022-03-23 “A Room in Baltimore” by Madeleine L’Engle

A stage actress and her roommate walk the city of Baltimore looking for a hotel that will take dogs. Tired of her hard work not paying off, Vicky is driven to impulsiveness. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). More of an anecdote than a story.

2022-03-22 “Please Wear Your Rubbers” by Madeleine L’Engle

Tired of her hard work not paying off, Vicky is driven to impulsiveness. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). This story has good ideas, but the timing of events makes it fall a little flat.

2022-03-19 “Prelude to the First Night Alone” by Madeleine L’Engle

Paul must decide between delusion and self-preservation. Noel Townshend explores how far she’ll go to get an acting gig. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). A perfect little aftermath of a love story. Would read it again.

2022-03-17 “One Day in Spring” by Madeleine L’Engle

Noel Townshend explores how far she’ll go to get an acting gig. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). Satisfactory, but nothing memorable.

2022-03-16 “Victory Lap” by George Saunders

Until a man knocks at her door, Alison Pope and Kyle Boot are self-centred kids; neighbours, but strangers. From The New Yorker (2009) (Read). So many good things: an excellent example of free indirect discourse, cohesive rotating 3rd person subject POV, great use of slang and casual language. Definitely recommend.

2022-03-15 “Madame, Or . . .” by Madeleine L’Engle

When Mr. Burton agrees to send Nancy to Madame Septmoncel’s Residence for Young Ladies, Walter suspects she is up to something. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). I know I’m less than halfway through the book, but this story is the best of them all. It has it. I couldn’t put it down.

2022-03-14 “White in the Moon the Long Road Lies” by Madeleine L’Engle

Selina is leaving her narrow-minded little southern town to teach in a girls’ school up north. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). I had a hard time getting into this one, but the inciting incident is compelling. I wish she had had time to work on this one a little more.

2022-03-14 “The Regression Test” by Wole Talabi

Titilope is 116 years old and is the human control for a regression test of the AI program made from her mother’s mind 40 years ago. From Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (2017) (Listen). I liked the ending, but the story wasn’t as compelling as my favourite AI stories.

2022-03-11 “The Last Truth” by AnaMaria Curtis

Eri is an indentured thief who is earning her freedom by sacrificing her own memories to pick locks. From LeVar Burton Reads and Tor.com (2022) (Read) (Listen). This story reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry, but with a better ending.

2022-03-11 “Summer Camp” by Madeleine L’Engle

Lise takes advice from the unpopular camp counsellor, Sunset, when her best friend turns against her with the rest of her tentmates. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). The more of these stories I read, the more I realize that L’Engle’s ability to write from the child’s perspective was why I lost myself so easily in The Wrinkle in Time.

2022-03-10 “The Mountains Shall Stand Forever” by Madeleine L’Engle

Away at school, surrounded by girls she doesn’t like, Ellen is finding her own mind, for better or worse. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). Like the others, this story could use a little polishing, but a great example of the preteen struggle not to succumb to peer pressure.

2022-03-09 “Afterlife” by Stephen King

William Andrews dies and goes to . . . an office? From Tin House Magazine (2013) (Listen). I like the various shades of morality in this story.

2022-03-09 “Gilberte Must Play Bach” by Madeleine L’Engle

Claudine copes as her mother insists on playing Bach, and her father insists on going to the café. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). This story is a little raw, but I like the potential of the ideas.

2022-03-07 “Silver Door Diner” by Bishop Garrison

An unusual boy gets acquainted with his server over a slice of pie. From Fiyah Magazine, Issue #16 (Listen). Some might say that the benevolence of the boy is trope-y, but it gave me hope.

2022-03-04 “Tree of Sorrow” by Silmy Abdullah

Returning to Bangladesh for the first time in her memory, Laila must adjust to sharing her Ma with her Nani. From Puritan Magazine (2022) (Read). An example of a multigenerational timeline within a short story. And, there is something about a selfish character that is just relatable!

2022-03-04 “The Best We Can” by Carrie Vaughn

Jane discovers U0-1, an alien device, and must find her way through the scientific and governmental bureaucracy to decipher what it means for humans. From Tor.com (2013) (Listen) (Read). If you liked The Martian by Andy Weir (I did), then you will like this one. I wanted a better ending, but we can’t always have what we want.

2022-03-022 “The Birthday” by Madeleine L’Engle

It’s Cecily’s birthday and she is growing up entirely too fast for her own liking. From The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle (2020). I liked L’Engle’s depiction of how a child first experiences self-awareness.

2022-01-01 “The Old Spot” by Winifred Holtby

The academic progress of Eli Brooks begins with a scholarship to grammar school. From Pavements at Anderby by Winifred Holtby (1937) (Listen). I found Eli’s fate particularly satisfying.

back to top

February

2022-02-23 “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

Delicate Louise shuts herself away from her family to come to terms with the death of her husband. From Vogue (1894) (Read). I appreciate this story in a way I don’t think I would of had I read it when I was younger: perfectly empowering feminist piece.

2022-02-23 “Speech Sounds” by Octavia E Butler

Since the Silence, Rye kept herself alive without knowing why and is now heading to Pasadena to find out if she’s the last of her family. From Asimov’s Science Magazine (1983). This story is my introduction to Butler and it makes me want to read more.

2022-02-22 “The Boogeyman” by Stephen King

Lester Billings believes he killed his three children and goes to a shrink to get the story off his chest (1973) (Read). I was captivated. I wonder what he would do differently if he wrote this story today?

2022-02-17 “The Egg” by Andy Weir

A conversation between God and a man who has recently died before he moves on. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I like this story. It is his most popular short story though, and I think there are others in this collection that are just as good, with a more original ending (“Annie’s Day,” for example).

2022-02-16 “The Chef” by Andy Weir

Doris, under the care of Dr Mitchel, must remember the night her father died in a gas explosion. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I like how her memory unfolds and it isn’t too clear who we can trust.

2022-02-15 “Meeting Sarah” by Andy Weir

Daniel worries about messing up his chances to meet Sarah (again). From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). Weir could have taken a little more time to set up the tone of this one.

2022-02-14 “Midtown Butcher” by Andy Weir

Michelle is surprised in the shower by someone prowling in her apartment and must figure a way out. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I didn’t feel that Weir effectively provided clues for the ending so I felt a little confused at the end.

2022-02-14 “Midtown Butcher” by Andy Weir

Michelle is surprised in the shower by someone prowling in her apartment and must figure a way out. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I didn’t feel that Weir effectively provided clues for the ending so I felt a little confused at the end.

2022-02-13 “Bored World” by Andy Weir

Rod is kidnapped to relieve the boredom of a sentient dimension. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). This ending was unexpected and endearing!

2022-02-12 “The Real Deal” by Andy Weir

Ray tells Bobby about meeting the woman of his dreams, even though they’ve only gone on one date. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). This one warmed my heart.

2022-02-12 “Annie’s Day” by Andy Weir

Annie takes the day for herself, then decides to indulge her darkest fantasy. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I loved how uncomfortable I felt about this one!

2022-02-12 “Antihypoxiant” by Andy Weir

A doctor discovers a way to make it so that cells are impervious to death. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I was pretty neutral on this one.

2022-02-11 “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor

Hulga believes herself better than the simple country folk she’s surrounded by and then she meets her match. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955). I enjoyed the character development of the antagonist in this one.

2022-02-10 “Access” by Andy Weir

A woman who can access anywhere she wants offers her services. From The Egg and Other Stories (2018) (Read). I liked the ending and the use of dialogue.

2022-02-09 “A Late Encounter with the Enemy” by Flannery O’Connor

Sixty-two-year-old Sally Poker Sash’s dream is for her one-hundred-four-year-old father to live to sit on the stage when she graduates college. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955). I liked the juxtaposition of performance and reality.

2022-02-09 “The Darling” by Anton Chekhov

Olga Semyonovna is given a chance to live her own life. From A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders (2021) and originally published in Semya Magazine (1899). (Read). I like how effectively Checkhov uses repetition to convey meaning in this one.

2022-02-06 “The Artificial N*****” by Flannery O’Connor

Mr. Head takes his grandson Nelson to the city for the first time and the two come head to head over their pride. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955). This story paints a perfect portrait of contempt between generations.

2022-02-05 “A Temple of the Holy Ghost” by Flannery O’Connor

The child wonders about her ugly thoughts when her cousins Susan and Joanne come from their convent school to visit. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955). This story was a bit hard to get into because it took me a while to get a sense of the main character. I enjoy the biblical allusions in her stories.

2022-02-04 “Super Human” by Nicola Yoon

Syrita is chosen to convince X, a superhero gone rogue, not to destroy humanity. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). I liked the way this one ended.

2022-02-04 “Once Removed” by Alexander MacLeod

Amy (grudgingly) and Matt take their new daughter Ella to meet Matt’s great-aunt Greet, or so they think. From The New Yorker (2022) (Listen) (Read). I like the development of Amy and Greet’s relationship.

2022-02-03 “The Captain of the Pole-Star” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Aboard the Pole-Star, Dr. John M’Alister Ray Jr. observes the decline of the captain and crew (and himself), as they are marooned on the ice. From The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales (1883) (Listen) (Read). I felt there were too many words in this story, but I enjoy the paradox of the doctor’s role and his opinions.

2022-02-02 “Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar

Tommy’s first day on the men’s team is another day closer to who he is inside, outside. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). I loved the use of repetition and the rawness of emotion.

2022-02-01 “Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell

A haunted house for sale has its hopes set on a certain kind of owner. From Diabolical Plots (2020) (Read) (Listen). Telling the story from the point of view of an inanimate object is cute, but it wasn’t as engrossing as it could have been.

back to top

January

2022-01-31 “Kodama’s Ramen Shop” by Ellen Oh

Jessie’s tired of everyone bearing the brunt of her grandmother’s racism. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-31 “Paladin/Samurai” by Gene Luen Yang

Owen is half Japanese and has a crush on the girl across the street: can he roll a 20? From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-30 “One Voice: A Something In-Between Story” by Melissa de la Cruz

Jasmine must decide whether words are violent enough to protest. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-29 “A Boy’s Duty” by Sharon G Flake

Zakery James dreams of being a quartermaster in the navy and a professor at a university, but boys like him never follow through. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-28 “A Stranger at the Bochinche” by Daniel José Older

Ramses and Rosie try to stop plans for a new future from falling into the wrong hands. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Neutral.

2022-01-27 “War Dances” by Sherman Alexie

A young indigenous father comes to terms with his father’s death as he faces his own mortality. The New Yorker (2009) (Read). Liked.

2022-01-26 “Tags” by Walter Dean Myers

Big Eddie, Willie, D’Mario and Frank discuss death and how to stay in the world. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-25 “Why I Learned to Cook” by Sara Farizan

Yasi has avoided bringing her girlfriend to her grandmother’s Friday night dinner because she doesn’t know how she will react. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-24 “The Red Romper” by Eleonora Balsano

A grieving mother hunts for the red romper she gave away when her baby died. From Bandit Fiction (2022) (Read). Loved.

2022-01-24 “Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey” by Haruki Murakami

A monkey confesses his indiscretions to a patron he befriends at the hotel where he works. From The New Yorker (2020) (Listen) (Read). Liked.

2022-01-22 “Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex” by Tobias S. Bucknell

Tavi is a Taxi driver in future Manhattan who gets swept up in an agency investigation when an octopus-like alien passenger jumps out of his cab and into the river. From New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color (2019) (Listen). Liked.

2022-01-19 “Be Cool for Once” by Animah Mae Safi

Nerdy Shirin and her friend Francesca go to a concert where she is approached by Jeffrey, her longtime crush. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-18 “The Placement Agency” by Tobias S Bucknell

A man takes a job with a hefty signing bonus without knowing what he’s got himself into. From Shoggoths in Traffic and Other Stories by Tobias S Bucknell (2021) (Listen). Loved.

2022-01-17 “Don’t Pass Me By” by Eric Gansworth

Doobie has never been a “Passing Indian,” so he doesn’t try, even if taking a stand doesn’t make him popular with the other students or his teachers. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Loved.

2022-01-16 “A Stroke of Good Fortune” by Flannery O’Connor

Ruby struggles, both to climb the stairs and to come to terms with her changing body. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955). Liked.

2022-01-16 “Meet Cute” by Malinda Lo

Nic and Tamia become fast friends (and hopefully more) in the bowels of a convention centre when the power goes out at a Comicon they are attending. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-15 “Eraser Tattoo” by Jason Reynolds

Shay is moving and leaving her mark on her childhood friend and boyfriend Dante. From Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles (2018). Liked.

2022-01-14 “The Broom Dog” by Jason Reynolds

Canton grieves. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-13 “How a Boy Can Become a Grease Fire” by Jason Reynolds

Gregory Pittses friends help him get ready to ask a girl out. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-13 “Ookabooka Land” by Jason Reynolds

Cynthia follows in her funny grandfather’s footsteps. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-13 “Satchmo’s Master Plan” by Jason Reynolds

Satchmo plots to avoid getting attacked by the neighbourhood dog. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Neutral.

2022-01-12 “Five Things Easier to do than Simon’s and Kenzi’s Secret Handshake” by Jason Reynolds

Simeon and Kenzi’s symbiotic relationship. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-12 “How to Look (Both) Both Ways” by Jason Reynolds

With her life full of uncertainty, Fatima attempts to make at least the walk home from school predictable. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-12 “Skitter Hitter” by Jason Reynolds

Decisions: Markus whether he is going to sacrifice Pia, Stevie whether his own skin is worth sacrificing Pias. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-11 “Call of Duty” by Jason Reynolds

Bryson will never be the same after a fight at school. money to get what they want. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Loved.

2022-01-11 “The Low Cuts Strike Again” by Jason Reynolds

John John, Francy, Trista, and Bit band together to steal enough money to get what they want. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-10 “The Art of Learning to Dance” by Sara Dobbie

The narrator explains the ins and outs of appreciating yourself as a dancer as you age. From New World Writing (2022) (Read). Liked.

2022-01-10 “Water Booger Bears” by Jason Reynolds

Jasmin is back at school after being sick, and she and TJ are discussing what they are made of. From Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (2019). Liked.

2022-01-09 “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Connor

A tramp, Tom Shiftlet, arrives at Lucynell Crater’s farm and finds he can get what he wants if he makes himself useful. From A Good Man is Hard to Find (1955). Liked.

2022-01-08 “To Jump is to Fall” by Stephen Graham Jones

The thoughts of a spy as he jumps from a plane toward his target. From Lightspeed Magazine (2020) (Listen) (Read). Loved.

2022-01-07 “The Million Pound Bank Note” by Mark Twain

After a boating accident leaves Henry Adams in London with nothing, he meets two brothers who bet each other that Henry will not be able to make it 30 days with a million-pound note. From Langenshiedt ELT (1893). Liked.

2022-01-07 “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson

Norma receives a mysterious package in the mail and is overcome by curiosity. From Playboy (1970). Liked.

2022-01-06 “Dalyrimple Goes Wrong” by F Scott Fitzgerald

Bryan Dalyrimple returns from war and must figure out how to navigate the world after parades and accolades. From The Smart Set (1920) (Listen). Liked.

2022-01-06 “The River” by Flannery O’Connor

Bevel’s babysitter takes him to see a preacher for healing, but he has his own agenda. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955). Liked.

2022-01-06 “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

When her husband is invited to a ball, Madame Mathilde Loisel (who longs to be rich) borrows a friend’s diamond necklace and loses it. From Le Gaulois (1884). Liked.

2022-01-05 “Vaccine Season” by Hannu Rajaniemi

Tursti visits his grandfather in hopes of infecting him with the latest vaccine and extending his life. From Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future (2021) (Listen). Loved.

2022-01-04 “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience TM” by Rebecca Roanhorse

Jesse is sacrificing what he values to survive at work, then everything changes when he goes against the rules and befriends a tourist. From Apex Magazine (2017) (Read) (Listen). Loved.

2022-01-04 “Leaf by Niggle” by JRR Tolkien

Niggle is trying to finish his painting before he must leave for a journey he is dreading, but is constantly interrupted. From Dublin Review (1945). Liked.

2022-01-02 “Salt” by Rosemary Melchior

Sigga is exiled to a penal colony on a barren island and decides to take her chances on her own. From Luna Station Quarterly (2018) (Read) (Listen). Liked.

2022-01-01 “A Family Man” by VS Pritchett

A conversation between Bernice and Mrs. Cork, the mistress and wife of Mr. Cork, respectively. From The New Yorker (1977) (Listen). Liked.

2022-01-01 “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

In the face of a killer on the loose, a grandmother and her family take a road trip to Florida. From A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1953). Liked.

back to top

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top