Tag: adolescent characters

Short story: “Minor Thefts”

“Minor Thefts,” by Louise Marburg

Appeared in Ploughshares Summer 2018, guest-edited by Jill McCorkle

A few thousand words

A fine story of adolescence.

So far I’m very impressed with McCorkle’s issue.


Short story: “Mamiwata”

“Mamiwata,” by Randall Kenan

Appeared in Ploughshares Summer 2018, guest-edited by Jill McCorkle

A few thousand words

This ended sooner than I wanted it to, but I think I get it—the ambiguity of the man’s motives never resolved, Mandy/Amanda poised between two terrible dangers and choosing the lesser one, the one she seems to be too young to recognize.

Short story: “Kylie Land”

“Kylie Land,” by Caspian Gray

Appeared in Nightmare Magazine, July 2018 (issue 70), and narrated on the podcast by Stefan Rudnicki

6,348 words

Awesome story. I was distracted trying to decide if it was horror (it’s not). But it’s so hopeful, a story of friendship and a boy trying to get free from his stifling life. Interesting to see how broadly Nightmare defines the genre of dark fantasy.

Short story: “The Girls”

“The Girls,” by Megan Taylor

Appeared in Neon Issue Forty-Six, May 29th, 2018

A few thousand words

A good nightmare, as are many Neon stories. I can sympathize with that adult fear of teenagers, those menacing no-longer-children, too-cool-for-grownups aliens.

Flash fiction story: “Greased Lightnin'”

“Greased Lightnin’,” by Meghan Phillips

Appeared in Pidgeonholes, June 2018

181 words

I like the line “Just like the real thing.”

And of course I like the erotic car imagery. Amazing how impressionable kids’ minds and sexualities seem to be.

Short story: “Dead in the Eye”

“Dead in the Eye,” by Melissa Mesku

Appeared in FLAPPERHOUSE #17, Spring 2018

1,492 words

I like the last paragraph. It seems to tie everything together.

Is every adolescence story a coming-of-age story? Surely not. Surely some of them are just life experience stories. Here, the protagonist doesn’t yet understand the difference between her and Violet; she’s still, as it were, innocent. It’s her adult self who marks that difference.

Short story: “Lonely Robot on a Rocket Ship in Space”

“Lonely Robot on a Rocket Ship in Space,” by A. Merc Rustad

Appeared in Cicada Magazine in 2016; read by Christopher Cornell for Escape Pod 615 (see the text for visuals like emoticons and Byron’s typed-out messages)

4,299 words

A sweet story, if rather predictable. Judging from the Escape Pod forum discussion, transgender people really identify with it.

Short story: “Mannequin”

“Mannequin,” by Melissa Ragsly

Appeared in CRAFT, March 30th, 2018

6,914 words

(Spoilers.) A good teenager story with rather delightful ending. The protagonist’s presence of mind during the sexual assault scene is remarkable, maybe even wish-fulfillment-y, the kind of decisive action we all wish we had taken at a moment of uncertain crisis. She’s highly perceptive, despite her understandable adolescent naiveté about Mr. House.

Edited to add: I don’t like the way CRAFT precedes each story with commentary—it seems to me that such a thing should go at the end—but I like that they provide a link to the author’s own commentary, so you can read it (in a pop-up) or not.

Short story: “The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls”

“The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls,” by Izzy Wasserstein

Read by Tatiana Grey for PseudoPod 588 as part of ARTEMIS RISING 4, March 30th, 2018

3,536 words

A good creepy story.

I like the way Grey gives each of the girls a distinct voice.

Flash fiction story or fictional essay: “Columbia Market”

“Columbia Market,” by Paul Beckman

Appeared in Bartleby Snopes and winner of their December 2016 Story of the Month poll

712 words

I didn’t really get this, it felt more like a fictional essay than a story. The experiences of this impoverished thirteen-year-old are certainly interesting, but there’s no plot movement.