All the stories involve ghosts in some way, but they range from scary to funny, charming to thought-provoking. And they’re short: Many of the stories unfold in 500 words, which Lent says makes this book easy to pick up for a quick story — and hard to put down. It’s full of fascinating first-lines and clever wording that kept her reading just one more, over and over.
Here’s one opening she shared from story No. 35 "New Life, New Civilizations:"
By the 24th Century, the question had been answered definitively: transporters did not in fact convey a person, bodily, from one place to another. They killed him and replaced him with an exact duplicate. The new question was whether the copy, like the original, was endowed with a soul.
Lent said she couldn’t resist continuing after an opening paragraph like that, particularly when the story resolves in a page and a half.
Lent also recommends a previous novel by Brockmeier, “The Brief History of the Dead,” which also has ghosts. Published in 2006, it’s about the aftermath of a pandemic.
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