Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Thing About Ghost Stories, by Naomi Kritzer

Uncanny Magazine, November 2018

The thing about ghost stories, our narrator tells us, is that they aren't really stories. There's no beginning, middle, end; there's just a weird event that happens, perhaps one, perhaps repeatedly, and then it either stops, or the person who experienced it leaves that place.

Our narrator is a folklorist, and she's researching ghost stories. Not ghosts. The stories we tell about them, the different kinds of stories, the roles those stories play for people.

At first, her mother, a retired romance editor, acts as proofreader and editor as she works on her thesis. Then, her mother descends into Alzheimer's. When her mother dies, and she resumes traveling for her research, occasionally mediums approach her, and tell her she has a ghost with her.

The ghost wants her to find something.

It's an engaging and ultimately very satisfying story Really saying anything more would be a spoiler.


I received this story as part of the 2019 Hugo Voters Packet

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