Innumerable Voices is a monthly column profiling short fiction writers and exploring speculative fiction themes in their many permutations. The column will discuss stellar genre work from both fresh and established writers who don’t have short fiction collections or novel-length works, but who actively contribute to anthologies and magazines. Links to magazines and anthologies for each story are available as footnotes. Chances are I’ll discuss the stories at length and mild spoilers will be revealed.
Since this week began with All Hallows’ Eve—the night on which ghouls and spirits pierce the veil to enter our realm—I cast my thoughts towards Yukimi Ogawa’s body of work, which grounds itself in Japanese folklore and engages the preternatural as a concept in an altogether different manner. Western stories about spirits, beasts, and guardians of forests and rivers—the ones I’d grown up reading and watching at the very least—are stories of segregation. The otherworldly has been driven off to its own realm, allowed to return only at specific times, as if there had been a decisive battle that we’d won long ago. Any subsequent visitation of the preternatural into our world is seen as violent and predatory, as impotent vengeance. A single-entity insurgence.