Paxton and the neighbor’s kid are inseparable—sweethearts, even, and Paxton barely six. He doesn’t mind her antennae and clicking mandibles at all….
We’re excited to share Abbey Mei Otis’ “Sweetheart,” originally published on Tor.com in December 2010 and collected in Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories, available now from Small Beer Press!
Otis’s short stories are contemporary fiction at its strongest: taking apart the supposed equality that is clearly just not there, putting humans under an alien microscope, putting humans under government control, putting kids from the moon into a small beach town and then putting the rest of the town under the microscope as they react in ways we hope they would, and then, of course, in ways we’d hope they don’t. Otis has long been fascinated in using strange situations to explore dynamics of power, oppression, and grief, and the twelve stories collected here are at once a striking indictment of the present and a powerful warning about the future.