Fictional essay: “The Apartment Dweller’s Bestiary”

by look i have opinions

“The Apartment Dweller’s Bestiary,” by Kij Johnson

Appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, issue 100, January 2015

4109 words

I think this is supposed to be a short story, but constructed out of thematically linked slices of life. I admire the way Johnson pushes the boundaries of what constitutes a story, but this piece doesn’t work as a story for me the way “Mantis Wives” did.

I personally don’t identify with these apartment dwellers’ problems, and that probably has a lot to do with my lack of any strong feelings about the piece. (In a Tor.com review, Brit Mandelo says: “It’s a good story, one that will likely speak to some readers more sharply than others.”)

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