I recently did something that I don’t usually do: I read a book that’s gotten a lot of buzz. Tenth of December,* a collection of short stories, was heralded as “the best book you’ll read this year” by the New York Times Magazine in an article from the beginning of the January. So my initial reaction was, of course, scorn and amused derision at such hyperbole. This was the wrong reaction, by the way. The book is good. The book is really, really good. It’s exactly what I think short stories should do: make you drop your head in your hands at the end of each one and say, “ohmyGOD!”
Still, reading this book put me in mind of an interesting problem that keeps plaguing those of us who write in the speculative genres.
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