Singularity and Other Stories
By Melanie Tem
Singularity gathers award-winning writer Melanie Tem’s most important short fiction, highlighting her diversity and mastery of her art.
The sixty stories collected here range from “Sitting with the Driver,” a western with a dark woman at its center, to “Little Shit,” a contemporary tale of a woman who uses her deceptive appearance and psychic power to trap those who prey on the helpless. The child in “Corn teeth” longs not only to become a part of an alien family, but also to become an alien. And in the title tale, a man studies singularities and strin theory to both understand and blind himself to the truth about the woman he loves. Although the story is not science fiction, its exploration of physics is as rigorous as that found in the best sf. Here you will find no triumphant warriors, no powerful and beautiful protagonists, no monsters from beyond the dark cold void or madmen bent on conquest.
Tem’s characters are mothers and siblings, orphans and lonely seniors. Her stories are often about family, and always about relationships. Even though Kelly is the only character in “Iced in,” the bitter truth that lies at the story’s heart is that she is doomed by her failure to maintain relationships. Melanie Tem’s stories are often haunted by ghosts and monsters, ghosts and monsters revealed as all too human. In Singularity, she explores the love and terror that lie deep within all of us.