Monthly Short Fiction Reviews: April 2017

April Short Fiction

April was a slow reading month for me. Not only that, it’s been busy—there is a point, I think, at which my brain becomes overwhelmed by important things and starts to deactivate interests and hobbies for more processing power. I think that’s what happened in April.

Thing is: that’s not good. My interests and hobbies are what make me happy, so I do need that space to decompress. I should remember that going forward, I hope.

Click on any story in the table of contents to jump right to it; or just read on below the cut. The star (★) next to a story indicates it’s one of my favourites.

It Happened To Me: I Was Brought Back to Avenge My Death, But Chose Justice Instead by Nino Cipri

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The third in Nino Cipri’s ‘It Happened To Me’ series at Fireside, this one’s protagonist is a union organiser from Chicago, murdered in an effort to break the union. I loved this—the contrast between the gritty reality of union struggle in Chicago and the fantastical nature of the protagonist’s resurrection was right up my street, as was the topic of working class struggle.

Leg by Shaenon K. Garrity

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THIS WAS BEWILDERING.

I must say, I’ve never read—nor did I ever expect to read—a story in which the main character is someone’s independent prosthetic leg.

Having said that… yeah, this story was a lot of fun. The juxtaposition of the deliberate absurdity of the premise and the serious life shit that made up the plot was hilariously weird.

Honor by Shawn Goodman

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If you don’t like stories in which the dog dies, turn away now.

I am one of those who absolutely hate it—abhor it, see no need for it whatsoever—when a dog dies in fiction. It’ll make me cry every time. The tragedy is slightly mitigated, however, when the story is told from the perspective of the dog—especially in this case, when the dog is a knowing, foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails stray like this one. I liked this story, even if it did make me tear up a little.

A Lumberjack’s Guide to Dryad Spotting by Charles Payseur

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This story by Charles Payseur is about the lives of jobbing men working as lumberjacks up in the wilderness of the northwestern US. But these men aren’t ordinary lumberjacks. They are hunting dryads for their precious magical wood and their hearts.

I don’t want to spoil this flash fiction piece, but our unnamed protagonist risks everything for a chance at queer love and a better life. This story made the most out of few words. It was sensual and tentative and hopeful. I loved it.

Regarding Your Future With The Futures Planning Consortium by Raq Winchester and Fran Wilde

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This email epistolary about an office feud amongst the people in charge of time itself is so smart and true to life while at the same time being fascinating as all get out. I want to work in this office, dangers of getting stranded in time be damned! It also reminded me strongly of Douglas Adams in its marriage of epic science fiction and everyday banality.

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