Category: Short story entries

Short story: “Robert from ‘Cat Person’ Asks for Relationship Advice on Reddit”

“Robert from ‘Cat Person’ Asks for Relationship Advice on Reddit,” by Rachel McCarthy James

Appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, December 12th, 2017

905 words

Oh man, is this ever accurate. I hope this fictional Reddit post gets some very blunt replies.


Short story: “The Jesus Singularity”

“The Jesus Singularity,” by Zoltan Istvan

Appeared in Terraform, August 24th, 2016

2,519 words


Short story: “The Exemption Packet”

“The Exemption Packet,” by Rose Eveleth

Appeared in Terraform, August 31st, 2016

Less than 2,000 words, several images

Interesting look at a kid who seems to have autism or ADHD, and how they struggle with new technology. I’d like to think future tech will actually benefit people with such conditions, but we’ve seen problems like this in the past, as when talkie movies came out and excluded the Deaf people who had been able to enjoy the silents.

Short story: “Mall School”

“Mall School,” by Porpentine Charity Heartscape

Appeared in Terraform, September 7th, 2016

2,163 words

A day in the life of a kind of retrofuture world, a future as imagined by the 1990s. I like it.

I spent a good portion of this story waiting to see if the NeoHumanPet was going to get its Sparkle Mood Potion. Spoiler: It didn’t.

Short story: “The Return”

“The Return,” by Debbie Urbanski

Appeared in Terraform, September 22nd, 2016

2,516 words

Disturbing and elegantly ambiguous. Edit: Or maybe the word I want is “unresolved.”

Short story or perhaps radio play: “Calling Your Girlfriend”

“Calling Your Girlfriend,” by Kristen Roupenian

Appeared on The Hairpin, February 22nd, 2012

1,082 words

Funny, but lightweight. I guess I was expecting a twist at the end or something.

Short story: “Long Hair”

“Long Hair,” by Uche Okonkwo

Appeared in Per Contra, summer 2016

2458 words

A tale of childish cruelty, “innocent” cruelty.

Found via the author’s blog after I went looking for more about the author of “The Girl Who Lied.” Good to read Per Contra again.

Short story: “The Girl Who Lied”

“The Girl Who Lied,” by Uche Okonkwo

Published as Ploughshares Solo 5.5

Maybe 5,000 words? Not sure

This is a good short story (I checked the author’s blog and it is a short story, not a memoir—the narrator’s name should have tipped me off, I suppose). Of course, the ending shuts the door in our faces—the door of Kemi’s point of view, which is inaccessible to us as to our narrator—but there are hints we can piece together into a resolution.

Kemi’s story of the man in the night suggests sexual molestation to me, probably by the uncle.

Short story: “Cat Person”

“Cat Person,” by Kristen Roupenian

Appeared in the New Yorker‘s December 11th, 2017 issue (online here—apparently they release stuff ahead of the date of the issue)

7,201 words, although it goes by pretty fast and so feels shorter

A sad little story. Doesn’t feel like a typical New Yorker piece (not that there’s such a thing as a typical New Yorker piece anymore).

Edited to add: Wow, this story is getting a lot of attention on Twitter, evidently because it’s so relatable. (I mean #relatable.) It kind of feels more like something that would run in The Hairpin or Catapult than the New Yorker, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

Short story: “Father’s Last Escape”

“Father’s Last Escape,” by Bruno Schulz, translated from the Polish by Celina Wieniewska

Originally collected in Street of Crocodiles; appeared in the New Yorker (online here), January 2nd, 1978; PDF here; read by Nicole Krauss in the New Yorker Fiction Podcast, February 2012

Probably 2,000 words or even less

I listened to this a long time ago and it never completely left me. It makes me think of a parent slowly giving way to Alzheimer’s or some similar mind-wasting disease, so that the survivors bid him goodbye a little bit at a time, first one memory, then another. (I’m not the first to make this comparison.)