Escape from Spiderhead by George SaundersThis is the best short story Ive read in years. It is so ingenious, fucked up, and haunting. Reminds me of the King short stories that fucked me up and shaped my worldview when I was probably too young to read them. Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, stuff like that.
Ive never seen the concepts of love and horror so exquisitely, terribly rendered. Im really in awe of this story. Its so unmerciful, so strange, yet so utterly relatable. Its like a needle straight to the cortex. Its graphic, and yet not so graphic that you cant fill in most of the blanks yourself-- which makes it even more horrifying, of course.
Saunders is a monster, and I mean that in the best possible way. The whole book is amazing actually.
Theres magic in this story. Terrible, awful, gorgeous magic.
Good, Evil, and “Escape From Spiderhead”
These limits are emotional, moral, as well as physical. The story forces the reader to ask themselves two questions. What makes us human? In particular, at what point does fulfilling our nature as a sentient being override the desire to satisfy our superiors and the scientific progress they intend to create. So, in the end the reader feels sad, for the narrator, but at the same time relieved that that kind of blind empathy and sympathy is present and thriving.