Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time, we talked about two stories from two different recent magazines; in this installment, I’d like to focus on one publication and one story. Though I don’t do it often, this time I’m going to talk about a piece from here at Tor.com: the novella “Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and translated by Liisa Rantalaiho.
This novella won two prizes in the original Finnish; this is the first English publication of the piece. It’s—quite obviously—long, and also has a sort of measured, careful, sedate pace that balances on the fine line between “too slow” and “too quick.” It’s also a piece I’d call a quiet story, told as it is from the point of view of the (perhaps too) reasonable and logic-driven protagonist.