Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column 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.
Some stories stay with you. Most, entertaining as they often are in the moment, don’t.
I encountered Jay Lake’s ‘The Passion of Mother Vajpaj’ for the first time three years or so ago, in the course of reviewing the second Subterranean Tales of Dark Fantasy for Strange Horizons. Then, as now, I saw anthologies as opportunities to broaden my reading horizons, and this one indubitably did. There were better stories in it, I think—by Caitlin R. Kiernan and K. J. Parker, to the best of my recollection—but not a one was more memorable or moreish than this richly erotic and irresistibly exotic exploration of the milieu mined in Green, Endurance and Kalimpura.