New occasional series. I’d like to highlight some short fiction and those who write it from time to time. One story or more that stuck with me, could be the same writer or a few that I read close together. Or whatever.
So let me tell you about the fiction of Rachael K. Jones. Because life is best organized into threes, here are three pieces of her short fiction that stayed with me.
- “Ten Wretched Things About Influenza Siderius” — This story stuck with me. There are a few things going on that she pulls off. First, the thing’s in second person. Tricky POV. And is written as a descending list that evolves from a simple list to a full story. Actually the effect’s a descent into madness as you realize what you are. Because you’re the main character. It all works beautifully. And tragically.
- “Who Binds and Looses the World with Her Hands” — this one just blew me away. I’ve read it three times and each time found something new, beautiful, and terrifying about it. The narrator lives in a lighthouse on an island with Selene. They have a complicated relationship that has an abusive edge. As an added detail, they communicate exclusively through sign language. Things change when a man appears on the island, and the narrator, Doriane, begins to realize just how powerful she is.
- “Makeisha in Time” — What would happen if you were transported to another time and place and lived an entire life, died, and was deposited back to the point in your life when you were spirited away? What if it happened again and again, without warning? That’s the question behind this awesome story. I don’t want to spoil any more than that. Head on over to Crossed Genres and check it out if you love time travel stories (e.g., Quantum Leap, Doctor Who). Like all journeys, Makeisha learns something about herself in the end.
UPDATE: you can also check out “Makeisha in Time” at PodCastle, where both the text is reprinted and also read by K. Tempest Bradford. Excellent.