Selkie Stories Are for Losers by

I hate selkie stories.
Sofia Samatar - Selkie stories are for losers - c.2013

Read online at Strange Horizons

Our unnamed narrator is a teenage girl, working in a restaurant after her mother left, trying to get her father to understand that she isn’t interested in college. All she cares about is getting to a land-locked state, whether or not she should kiss Mona, and the fact that she hates selkie stories.

Selkie stories, after all, are usually about the selkie and her escape from the marriage and family she has been trapped into. But our unnamed narrator can’t help think about the children left behind in all those legends.

Selkie (can't find creator of the image)

Selkie (can’t find creator of the image)

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And this is a story all about loss, because it is loss that is referred to in the title of the story. Not losers as in the insult. So many of the characters have a loss of some form in their life, they aren’t all explored, this is a short story not a novel after all, and so many of them are trying to get back home, back to where they once felt safe. They are, in many ways, trying to be the selkie of their story. Okay, they might not need to find a skin to escape, but they are still looking for something to help them get our of their present situation.

It’s an interesting story, told in a lovely straight-forward, easy to read manner.

Elsewhere : Lady business

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