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Short Stories 365:205

Thanks to a Kickstarter alert for Daily Science Fiction triggered by my 'net pal Anthony Cardno I tossed a few bucks their way and signed up for the small flash fictions that are now going to appear in my in-box each morning. Given my penchant for short fiction (and most of the time, these e-mails are flash fiction, but sometimes they are long enough to be considered short stories) this is a big win for me.

Science Fiction isn't something I've done much of myself - I'd say most of what I've written slides closer to speculative fiction or paranormal contemporary fiction than anything else. My creations are more mythical or magical than scientific, but I'm starting to feel like that's something I should rectify. There are definitely ideas in my file folder (no, seriously, there are so many freaking ideas in my file folder) but I've never given any of them a serious polishing or attempt.

Then again, when I read science fiction, it usually makes me lean back and think, woah, how do people come up with such good stuff? So maybe it's just not something I've got in me.

Speaking of some damned fine science fiction...

"In Sleep," by Ren Warom

I've said it a few times now (and I'm seven stories from the end at this point, but there's still more than a few opportunities where it bears repeating) but the range of stories in This is How You Die is really incredible. Here, Warom crafts a brilliant science fiction world, culture, and causality for her story of the Death Machine, and it all just reads so effortlessly. That kind of world-building is hard to do in science fiction - let alone doing so in the space of a short story - but here it really flows.

Warom also does something very clever - which I won't spoil in any detail - in her tale that allows the unthinkable to happen: the test result of an individual changes. Where, why, and how is the crux of the story, and it's devilishly clever, and definitely left a dark tingle on the spine.

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