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Short Stories 365:61

The children are our future.

In other news, I'm sometimes frightened for the future.

A teen girl recently picked up a copy of Les Miserables and asked me, in all seriousness, "Does this have all the lyrics?"

So, after that happened, I reminded myself that a small sample does not a cohort represent, and got back to work. It stuck with me all day, though, I'm not going to lie.

The next story I'm going to chat about is also about children, via the point of view of teachers. If you're wondering how I'm talking about stories from This is How You Die, which isn't due out until June, it's because of the Kickstarter for the card game version of Machine of Death. That link will take you both to the kickstarter and the link to the next story from the collection, which was released as a prize for meeting goals.

"Tetrapod," by Rebecca Black

Oh how I loved this story, which is about two teachers in Japan, and their bittersweet relationship and their awareness of how children act in a world where knowing how you die is now rolled into something in the realm of icebreakers. I keep saying this about this anthology, but it's the clever way that the authors have melded the culture of the Death Machine into the narrative that's really giving the collection its edge for me.

Teaching English, having strong feelings for a married man, and trying to connect to children who don't yet see what a shadow death is is all juggled deftly with a story that unfolds almost gently - right up until a dark moment to tips everything on its side and leaves the reader breathless. Rebecca Black, that was wonderful.

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