Review of Johanna R. Staples-Ager, “The Extent”, Luna Station Quarterly 38 (2019): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.
The confessional narrative that makes up this story is intensely personal and private, and it feels a bit like reading someone’s diary to be reading this story. It is bracketed on either end by scene-setting/framing context, presented in a cold, factual sort of way that I found made it difficult for me to extract much info from, and I had to re-read the opening framing part after having finished reading the entire story.
Doing so made the inner narrative so much colder, so much more real. This is one of those stories that sits uncomfortably in your gut because the boundary between speculative fiction and nonfiction is so smoothly blurred.