Day 22, story 22: Before and After

Review of: Before and After
Product by:
Ken Liu

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 17, 2013
Last modified:January 2, 2014

Summary:

This story was a piece of stunt writing - it is all one long sentence. Like a flow of conciseness. And it worked really well. I particularly liked the last bit where it mused about thinking back being a bit like a run-on sentence.

ApexMag12Title: Before and After
Author: 
Published: apex-magazine.com 2013
Genre: Science fiction
Length: 687 words, flash fiction
Reading time: 10 min

I read this as part of my reading challenge: 25 short stories in 25 days.

It had gotten pretty late today before I remembered that I had a story to read, so I went for the shortest story on my reader to be perfectly honest. Of course all of the fiction in this issue of Apex Magazine had been recommended by Tansy Rayner Roberts on Galactic Suburbia.

This story was a piece of stunt writing – it is all one long sentence. Like a flow of conciseness. And it worked really well. I particularly liked the last bit where it mused about thinking back being a bit like a run-on sentence.

The story is about a guy trying to figure out when he realised that the world had changed. We all know that feeling. For me it conjured up 9.11 as the point where I knew that world had changed. I knew I had lived through a historical event that had changed the world, but you don’t realise that till at least a few days later. And you definitely don’t realise how it has changed till much much later.

The man in the story is also thinking about everyday life, domesticity. It is quite rare in science fiction stories to see this much everyday life. Even though the story is super short, I think we get a good look into the man’s life. I have quite a good idea of what his everyday life looks like. What kind of problems he has. What the state of his marriage is. How he feel about his job etc. All in just under 700 words. That is remarkable.

I think it was effective, well told and enjoyable!

This story was a piece of stunt writing - it is all one long sentence. Like a flow of conciseness. And it worked really well. I particularly liked the last bit where it mused about thinking back being a bit like a run-on sentence.

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