Tag Archives: Short Story Review

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 11: Come Home to Atropos by Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes writes a sarcastic, charming story that comes as an infomercial, designed to attract rich white folks who want to end their lives in paradise on a Caribbean island. However, the story reveals the illusion underneath. Travel to exotic lands always appears as the ultimate escape, but Come Home To Atropos pierces that fantasy quite well.

“A variety of ministers, priests, and even a rabbi are on call for your prayer needs. We accept all major credit cards, but require cosigners for other deferred payment plans, of course. Watching one final sunrise, you’ll be able to close your eyes, knowing that you ended your pain and suffering in the hands of those who have much reason to wish to assist you.  Isn’t it time?”

That is from the last paragraph of the short story and Barnes provides an example of how pleasant they can sell death  to our consumerist nature. Come Home To Atropos made me chuckle several times, and it’s a reminder that paradise always comes at a cost.   This story appears in the New Suns Anthology edited by Nisi Shawl and it is one of the best stories in a groundbreaking and thought-provoking short story collection.

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 10: The Cookout by Jacqueline Turner Banks

A stepfather-stepdaughter relationship can be challenging, especially when the stepdaughter is coming into her own. The Cookout by Jacqueline Turner Banks, a short story published in Shades of Black: Crime & Mystery Stories by African-American Writers, makes a convincing case for that kind of relationship. The story opens with Stacey Barron’s mother, Frances, leaving on… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 9: The Storyteller by Rafik Schami

“Good storytellers are like good wine—the older the better!” The aforementioned sentence came from the last paragraph of The Storyteller by Rafik Schami.  This short story was taken from his novel, Damascus Nights and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventh Annual Collection published in September 1994. I’ve been reading from various anthologies… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 8: Recitatif by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is one of those authors I have admired and respected but not loved her fiction. I have read Song of Solomon, Jazz, & Paradise of her work. Song of Solomon is my favorite but my feelings as a reader on a storytelling level have been lukewarm at best. However, this short story (the… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 7: What People Leave Behind by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

My reading excursion into short stories continues with an excellent whodunit story set in a suburban Oregon town where a single mother who owns a housecleaning business of foreclosure homes ends up on the wrong end of a home explosion. What People Leave Behind by Kristine Kathryn Rusch told the story of how Detective Andrea… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 5: Galapago by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

  I have stated recently that I’m reading more short stories as a part of my reading life. As much as I love reading novels, I’m appreciating the short story on its own terms. Last year, I read an excellent short story collection, Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine. My favorite story of the entire… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 4: L’Alchimista by N.K. Jemisin

I have read a lot more short stories in the past year.  I have always considered short stories the stepchildren of contemporary fiction.  Novels are the alpha and omega for most contemporary fiction (literary & genre) readers.  Novellas (short novels between 20k-50k words) have become popular in the social media age.  But the average reader… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 3: Speech Sounds by Octavia E. Butler

What if you lived in a society where speaking is a threat to the social order? Octavia Butler speculated on the aforementioned question in her Hugo Award-winning short story, Speech Sounds. I came across this story when it was discussed on the Novel Pairing Podcast. The discussion was interesting, and I had to read the… Continue Reading