Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time around we talked about the inaugural issue of Uncanny Magazine, a newcomer on the short fiction scene that’s being helmed by some familiar faces.
This time, I thought we’d range out a little to a couple of stories from other recent publications: “On the Government of the Living: A Parable” by Matthew Cheney (Interfictions #4, Nov. 2014) and “Instructions” by Roz Kaveney (Lightspeed #54, Nov. 2014; reprinted from Odyssey ). These are two quite different sorts of stories—in fact, it feels a little like doing a reviewer’s grab-bag to put them both together. One is an original publication and one is a reprint; one is, as it says, a sort of parable, while the other is straight-up science fiction. The tonal resonances are also disparate. But: there is something to be said about the diversity of what sorts of stories are being published under the general “speculative fiction” header that these pieces demonstrate.
Plus, I liked them.