Sunday, January 5, 2014

Best (Read) in 2013: Elizabeth Bear's short story, "Inelastic Collisions"

Fiction (Short Story)
"Inelastic Collisions" by Elizabeth Bear
- featured in Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural
edited by Ellen Datlow.
TOR Books, 2007.

Bear outshines, in my humble opinion, many of the other collected horror stories here. There are, shockingly or perhaps, sadly, not so shockingly, few women contributors represented in this collection - they account for a mere four of the 20 contributors. Nonetheless, amongst this mixed bag of horror and weird tales, with the usual suspects, Bear's story, "Inelastic Collisions" still shines both in terms of originality and quality. Her story features two monstrous protagonists trawling the bar seeking bodies to prey upon. "Collisions" features stylistic leaps, such as telepathic conversations indicated by italics instead of quotation marks. The ending is not predictable (I am adhering to my "no spoilers" rule, here.). There is also  a heroic and capable character with a disability (he is wheelchair-bound) to boot! A good story for these and many other reasons. Bear burns up prose in Datlow's Inferno.

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