Tag: ambiguous endings

Short story: “Uncanny”

“Uncanny,” by James Patrick Kelly

Appeared in Asimov’s, October/November 2014, Vol. 38, Nos. 10–11 (Whole Nos. 465–466), edited by Sheila Williams; read by Dani Cutler in episode 489 of Escape Pod, April 8th, 2015

1,421 words

Pretty funny, though a bit generic as sexbot stories go.


Short story: “My Mother Casting Bones”

“My Mother Casting Bones,” by Emily Wenninger

Appeared in Menacing Hedge, issue 7.02, fall 2017

4,919 words

(Spoilers.) A good story. Even though I would never do what Clara did, I felt personally rebuked and downcast by the email reply. I’m curious what the final image means. A brief vision of the other Clara?

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: “The Better Part of Drowning”

“The Better Part of Drowning,” by Octavia Cade

Appeared in The Dark, November 2017 issueonline here

5,207 words

A grim story full of mysterious and highly original worldbuilding.


Flash fiction story: “Praying to the God of Small Chances”

“Praying to the God of Small Chances,” by L Chan

From Arsenika, Issue 1, Spring 2017online here

961 words

A thoughtful and well-written piece. It appears to me that the main character (spoilers) never goes in to see their father, seemingly content with just a glimpse of him—a curious lack of resolution.

I like the knockoff Adventure Time shirt.


Short story: “Love Like Monkeys”

“Love Like Monkeys,” by Jess Zimmerman

Appeared in Terraform, January 13th, 2017

2822 words

This story raises a bunch of creepy possibilities and refuses to fully resolve them. Not my cup of tea, although I can see it’s well done.

An interesting review: “What I liked about this story is that it’s a ‘gotcha’ story without a moral. It has the form of one of those irritating stories that the coffeehouse nerd in the brown cardigan writes to try to ‘wake people up.’ […] This story is happy to let it lie.”


Short story: “The Wretched and the Beautiful”

“The Wretched and the Beautiful,” by E. Lily Yu

Appeared in Terraform, February 6th, 2017

2559 words

An elegant story. While I have no doubt about the author’s politics, the story itself makes its point with delicacy, almost ambiguity.

A nice touch: “For this special edition of Terraform, the writer, award-winning E. Lily Yu, artist, Jason Arias, and me, the editor, will be donating our fees to the International Rescue Committee, a group founded at the behest of Albert Einstein, which assists refugees around the world.”


Short story: “The Interruption”

“The Interruption,” by Debbie Urbanski

Appeared in Terraform (on Vice‘s Motherboard), September 22nd, 2017

1915 words

I like this one. Good evocation of the main character’s rather unhappy life and (subtly, towards the end) the sense of freedom she finds in being lost. Wouldn’t feel out of place in a literary fiction publication.

I like how Terraform embraces stories that, while only science fiction in a loose sense if at all, use technology or science in interesting ways.


Short story: “When the Lady Speaks”

“When the Lady Speaks,” by Damien Angelica Walters

First appeared in the anthology What Fates Impose, August 15th, 2013, by Alliteration Ink (on Goodreads); subsequently online here in Gamut

3333 words

Cool piece.

I think Marian changes her name to Marina to play her fortune teller role, but later the fortune teller is called Marian too. Probably a copy editor’s error.


Short story: “What’s Not There Can’t Hurt You”

“What’s Not There Can’t Hurt You,” by Sara Taylor

Appeared in Granta, October 28th, 2016

1915 words

Creepy. I’m pleased to see Granta publishing something that wouldn’t feel out of place in Nightmare or Pseudopod—they’re genre-flexible when the writing is good.

I can’t decide if I’m satisfied with the ending. The reveal that refuses to resolve anything reminds me of “Suzanne Delage.”