A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Saturday Shorts Week 27
Welcome to our weekend series for 2014. Every Saturday this year one of our staff will suggest a favorite short story from the library’s collection, all of them a great choice for quick weekend reading.
I glanced at the ring on my finger. The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail Forever and Ever… I know where I came from—but where did all you zombies come from?
I hate to admit that I almost missed this one. It’s a highly regarded story that shows up in most Heinlein collections and countless SF anthologies. Yet, I’ve always skipped over it under the rather stupid assumption that it’s about zombies. When a friend started chatting about it, and a recent film based on it, I had to stop her and say “Wait wait wait, they’re only like metaphorically zombies?”
“—All You Zombies—” turns out to be a thrilling, completely mind-boggling time travel story with absolutely no zombies in it. It steals it’s narrator’s voice from noir detective fiction and it’s plot from twisty espionage tales. It’s got sex changes, kidnapping, mistaken identities, and an apocalypse of sorts, and it’s all packed into just ten pages. I won’t give away anything else. The surprises in this story are the best kind—integral to the plot rather than just tacked on to the ending.
So don’t sleep on “—All You Zombies—” like I did. It’s a brilliant piece of short fiction and my favorite discovery so far in writing these Saturday Shorts.
Review by Matthew