“Rubble People” by Matthew Sanborn Smith is simply amazing. Set in a world where the army uses a psychic equivalent of telepresence to allow soldiers to create amalgamated bodies for war, we are presented with the viewpoint of one of these soldier’s wives. The writing is tight and strikes a perfect tone for the world Sanborn Smith has created and the first person narrator used. The story itself shines as the logical progression of the narration takes us to an ending that feels correct and all too human. Read this story.
An impoverished young mother whose husband is fighting overseas struggles to help her sick daughter on a home front where the people have given away the best parts of their characters. A half-robot, half-plant cyborg vows to save the mind of a young boy who is his only friend. A couple slip into a nightmare realm of ancient clothing, human and otherwise, and the creatures that lurk there. An out of luck drug addict has less than three hours to pay his oxygen tax and save his own life as well as that of his son.
Rubble People and Other Stories collects five of Matthew Sanborn Smith’s short stories which have previously appeared at such venues as Apex Magazine, Aliterate, and See the Elephant. Stories include:
Giraffe Cyborg Cleans House!
Stars so Sharp They Break the Skin
Also included is the author’s previously unpublished story, “Out of Breath in a Sharp Red Suit,” as well as afterwords discussing the making of each piece.