Monday, April 18, 2016

Little Old Ladies: Introduction

Stories are filled with archetypes and stereotypes of characters, which first oral storytellers and then professional writers plugged into their works in almost formulaic fashion. Sometimes this was deliberate, other times unconscious on the storyteller’s end. But these types of characters in turn serve a role in forming the opinions and preconceptions of us, the readers. For example, the stories of princesses who are fairest in the land create a subconscious ideal of blonde, blue-eyed beauty.  Character types aren’t always that simplistic.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Long Reviews of Short Stories: Charles Yu's "Third Class Superhero"

With names like "401(k)" and "32.05864991%" and “Two-Player Infinitely Iterated Simultaneous Semi-cooperative Game with Spite and Reputation Autobiographical Raw Material Unsuitable for the Mining of Fiction,” it is a fair guess in just perusing the table of contents of this short story collection that is both quirky and probably written by a former science major or something. And both inferences are accurate.

Though I’m not much of a short story fan, I was drawn to this colorful paperback’s cover and science-fiction-y title. I was not disappointed with the content. Short stories have a tendency for being minimalist, a bit ambiguous, and existential. Again, I was not disappointed. Some stories, like “Realism” are so bleak as to almost feel like a cliché of Bleakness. What Yu does differently with his writing than most other contemporary storytellers is incorporating technobabble almost seamlessly into his world-building.