Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column co-curated by myself and the marvellous Brit Mandelo, and dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.
This week, we’ll be reading through two of the seven Nebula-nominated novelettes, namely “Fade to White” by Catherynne M. Valente and “Portrait of Lisane de Patagnia” by Rachel Swirsky. I figured it’d be a bit much for me to review “The Finite Canvas” by my aforementioned collaborator, but let it be said that her story is deservedly in contention for the iconic award as well, alongside shorts by Catherine Asaro, Ken Liu, Andy Duncan and Megan McCarron.
So why these two tales above the others? Well, because a single thread connects them: both explore the idea of the image, and the terrible power of the picture of perfection.