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Tag: genetic science

Short story: “Are We Not Men?”

“Are We Not Men?”, by T. Coraghessan Boyle

Appeared in the November 7th, 2016 issue of the New Yorker, read by the author in The Writer’s Voice

7,010 words, which is not enough or possibly too many

I settled into this story with the welcome feeling that I might be listening to Escape Pod or Lightspeed—playful worldbuilding and straightforward, emotionally accessible storytelling. But “Are We Not Men?” ends right when I’m expecting it to get started. The ending is presumably supposed to be a revelation of sorts: in a few small ways, wild nature kicks back against controlled technology. It’s a trite dichotomy, and the story doesn’t develop much tension between the two.

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Short story: “Into Your Life It Will Creep”

“Into Your Life It Will Creep,” by Susan Daitch

Appeared in Black Clock, issue no. 19, winter 2014/spring 2015, pages 10 through 13 including title page

3 pages, maybe 2,000 words? (Edit: I was close—1,917!)

I was immediately drawn in by the writing, but I came away feeling perplexed. Maybe this story is about an individual rejecting explanations for an upsetting event, resisting the urge to label it as abnormal. He’s surrounded by seeming randomness and confusion, and accepting a neat explanation ought to be comforting, but he rejects it anyway. I’m not sure. If the story is about him choosing chaos over control and order, why does he seem to resent the confusion of two similar names? Or is that the point at which he makes his choice?

Unlike the other passengers, the geneticist is introduced with the definite article, as though we’ve heard of him before. It’s odd and abrupt.