Short Take: “Little Paranoias,” Sonora Taylor

Pros: Wonderful little tidbits of paranoia and horror!
Cons: Not everything worked for me
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Sonora Taylor’s Little Paranoias: Stories is a relatively brief anthology of 20 creepy short stories, including a couple of poems.

There’s a goodly handful of flash fiction pieces, very short and often powerful, such as The Note on the Door or Crust, Stick Figure Family or Drops. There are casual killers, serial killers, vengeance killers, and moment-of-passion killers. There are people who kill together (Always in My Ear and Salt), and people who kill alone. There are people who kill entirely with purpose, and people who didn’t plan to do it, but who aren’t necessarily unhappy that they did.

I think only one story left me overly confused at all (Drops). One or two stories felt as though they weren’t wholly fleshed-out in the world (Quadrapocalypse). The opener, Weary Bones, and the almost-closer, Seed, are some of the more unusual stories in here–they’re longer, and they each embody some significant change that has happened to the world (living skeletons; a floral apocalypse) and how people have come to live with that change (or not). I like Taylor’s killer stories better–she has a particular flair for them–but these stories were also quite interesting!

I definitely recommend this book for fans of the macabre. It’s easy to read in bits and pieces between other things, and there’s plenty of gore!

Content note for gore, a little sex, and eating disorders/body dysmorphia.

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