Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time around I discussed the novella Cry Murder! In a Small Voice by Greer Gilman, published by Small Beer Press. For this week, there are a couple of recent short stories I wanted to talk about: “Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew in Clarkesworld (Dec. ’13) and “Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon in Apex (Jan. ’14).
Benjanun Sriduangkaew is a Thai writer whose name has been coming to my attention more and more, recently—in fact, I discussed one of her stories from Clockwork Phoenix 4 in a previous SFS post. She often writes complexly gendered characters in equally complex science-fictional settings, and “Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade” is another of these sorts of stories. Ursula Vernon, on the other hand, is a familiar name to many already: she’s the person behind the comic Digger, which won a Hugo in 2012 for Best Graphic Story. “Jackalope Wives” is a prose piece—traditional short fiction, if you will—and it also deals with gender and the cost of wants, though in a different way.