Short Fiction Tuesday

Strange that my favorite short story I read this week was a vampire story, but there it is--"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black. I am not a vampire fan usually, but I think what I like about this is the sense that she manages to create plausible effects of a vampirism outbreak. Some governments try an all-out war; others stumble into an uneasy truce. And though the story (thankfully!) makes no attempt to romanticize being a vampire, she manages to capture how even as awful as it is, some people will still romanticize it. In addition, it's just an entertaining story, which, you know, is a good bonus.

Full truth, this wasn't quite my favorite short I read this week, because I (re-)read a story in a collection I own. After finishing Jeff VanderMeer's wonderful Finch, I went and read "Corpse-Nose and Spore-Mouth" from the Secret Life collection, since it works as a self-contained story but is also a sort of early scene of the novel before the novel became something very different. The story is also online, I realize now, along with Jeff's commentary about how the story fits with the novel. So I certainly recommend that as well, both for the story itself and for the glimpse into how a scene can change so dramatically in style and focus.