Oh, this was fantastic: experimental science fiction by John Chu
Supposedly the story of a technological development, as told by one of the inventors, this is not an easy read. It doesn’t sweep you up in character and stakes and plot points. It does, however, do all the things I love about short fiction: confuse, confound, sweep you along on a torrent of language, and spit you out at the other end, shaking yourself and going ‘whoa!
(For the record, I also like nice narrative stories with heroes and adventure and all the traditional elements of story, but short stories have a unique ability to skirt all that and still give you a good time)
Just throw out whatever anyone’s ever told you about short story structure and read this. The story is not where you think it should be.
Since I’m no computer scientist (and perhaps even if I was) I found myself having to let the words pour over me, for the most part, and search for the story where the author had cleverly hidden it. (Take a look. You’ll see what I mean).
Clever and artistic and unlike anything else I’ve read. I’m not saying I’d like EVERY short story to be like this, but it certainly was refreshing and kind of exciting to remember that short fiction can be … this!
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The Reading Room is a series of short story reviews that are posted (usually on Tuesdays) in order to inspire you to read more short fiction in order to become better at writing it