Good Short Stories with Current Themes?

Apr 22, 23:09 by Alice Hall
Hello -

I’m working on an academic research project involving the way in which speculative fiction may help shape readers’ perceptions of real-world political and social issues. (Part of the focus is whether this genre functions differently, for the audience, than more realistic fiction.) As part of this, I’m trying to identify a pool of short stories with fantastical or speculative elements (that is, they take place in a setting or feature characters/creatures/technology that do not actually exist, or at least not yet) and that relate metaphorically or implicitly to some sort of current political or social issue such as the environment, privacy and so on.

The plan is to actually have study participants read some of these and then provide some information about their responses, so they need to be short stories as opposed to novellas or novels. I’d also like to find stories that are, in fact, compelling reads. I’ve been doing some keyword searches of review sites/publications like this one and Tangent (at least their archives). But I was wondering, does anyone here have suggestions?
Apr 23, 01:39 by Aidan Doyle
Ted Chiang's "Liking What You See: A Documentary" (collected in Stories of Your Life) is an excellent read.

Greg Egan's "The Moat" is about immigration issues.
Greg Egan's "Cocoon" is about gay rights.
They're in one of his collections.
Apr 24, 16:33 by Alice Hall
Thanks -
Apr 30, 19:13 by Eric Gregory
"Yellow Card Man" by Paolo Bacigalupi deals aggressively with environmental crisis, commercialism, overpopulation, immigration, and more. The rest of his stories, collected in "Pump Six and Other Stories," have similar interests, and they're all some of the best contemporary SF out there.

Bacigalupi's recent, Hugo-nominated "The Gambler" (which deals with immigration and journalistic ethics) is available for free online, so it might be a good place to start.

Mar 6, 03:13 by
"Yellow Card Man" is a great storie. [url=]Hadn't[/url] read "Pump Six and Other Stories" so will have a look at that one. Thnx for the tip!
May 23, 10:18 by
That is really interesting
Jul 10, 03:45 by
Yellow Card Man" by Paolo Bacigalupi bargains forcefully with natural emergency, corporate greed, overpopulation, migration, and that's just the beginning. Whatever is left of his stories, gathered in "Pump Six and Other Stories," have comparative interests, and they're all a portion of the best contemporary SF out there.
Dec 8, 17:06 by

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