Short story: “Ghost Days”
by look i have opinions
“Ghost Days,” by Ken Liu
Appeared here in the October 2013 issue of Lightspeed Magazine
9,332 words, according to Lightspeed
There’s a lot of good stuff here, and I think the use of parallel (yet also linked) stories is very effective. But the ending is too pat. It ties things up too neatly for the main character. The story hasn’t spent enough time with her to make me believe she’s matured so much emotionally.
I’m also not a fan of the occasional flowery, poetical passages. The stars and stripes image seems especially strained to me.
I didn’t recognize the nested structure until I read Liu’s interview. Nicely done, and the transitions are very clear.