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2009 Stories 171 - 178

First, finishing up the stories from the Spring 2009 issue of Zoetrope: All-Story, "The Latin American Issue:"

171. Family by Rodrigo Hasbun (from Bolivia).  Translated by Carolina De Robertis.  It's a father/daughter dynamic story, and clear that each one understands the other far better than each realizes.  And it's about secrets.

172. Hypothetically by Antonio Ungar (from Colombia).  Translated by Janet Hendrickson.  There's a story within a story, about the narrator's friend's neighbors and a violent act, that works very well, but I'm still not sure how the resolution of the outer story connects to the inner.

173. Fantasy by Alejandro Zambra (from Chile).  Translated by Carolina De Robertis.  It's a story that starts with the death of a parent, but it's more about three people living together in an odd arrangement.  Reminded me a little of Michael Cunningham's "A Home At The End of The World," sort of.

174. An Open Secret by Aura Estrada (from Mexico).  Translated by Francisco Goldman.  Pretentious writers, drunken reporters, beautiful women ... who is preying on who, and how long before someone loses it?

175. The Dwarves by Veronica Stigger (from Brazil).  Translated by Andrea Strane.  One of the shortest, most violent stories I have ever read, with some of the most remorseless characters I have ever encountered.

176. Tuesday Meetings by Slavko Zupcic (from Venezuela). Translated by Janet Hendrickson and Mariana Morris-Grajales. The Pope will be visiting a mental asylum, and the members of one particular support group work through what that means for them, among other problems.

*****

177.  Morality by Stephen King, from the July 2009 issue of Esquire.   This story falls squarely in the style of "The Woman In The Room" and "Last Rung on the Ladder."  The story itself is NOT horror, although it contains an element of the Horrific.  It's also in that realm of stories where the main characters (usually married) have to decide whether to do something against their morals if that act will have a financially beneficial impact on their lives.  It's not the worst King story I've ever read, but I also don't think it's among his best.  Still, always nice to see a new King short in a magazine.

****

178. Last Call by Jim Butcher, from the anthology Strange Brew, edited by P. N. Elrod.  It's also good to get a new Harry Dresden short story.  This one is short and to the point, and does not contain anything that would spoil major character revelations for people who have not read the novels yet ... so it's a good way to get a sense of what Harry is all about.  Harry walks into his favorite pub, MacAnally's, to find the place wrecked and the owner in a world of hurt, and sets out to find out what happened.



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