Short Story #3 — “What I Didn’t See” by Karen Joy Fowler

Nebula Award-winning. A re-read for me, though I still don’t quite see what makes this story fantasy, or genre, or…whatever. Not that it isn’t a great story, well told.

The re-read was brought about by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold’s Genre Trope and the Transmissibility of Story in February’s IROSF. Eric and I were talking about tropes and emotional hooks the other day. I should be more aware when I read to what hooks me, what makes me emotionally involved, what tropes I favor, or whether I look for tropes at all. When reading “What I Didn’t See,” the first time and this time, I didn’t read with any expectation. Yes, I was looking out for the perchance alien invasion or mystical-jungle-fairy turn, but I’m not disappointed when that doesn’t happen. The question is, did I keep reading only to see when the story was going to take that genre turn?

Currently, I’m reading Graham Masterton’s A Terrible Beauty, and honestly, I’m continuing to read the book because I’m waiting for a sort of coming together of the tropes. It doesn’t make for an uninteresting read, but there is greater possibility that I will be disappointed in how the book ends.

Doing laundry. Should be working on my own writing.  Really just wanting to read.


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