STET by Sarah Gailey

A nimble spray crab seen on San Salvador

This is my next review of a nominee for the 2019 Short Story Locus Award.

Published: October, 2018 in Fireside Magazine (you can read it for free at that link)

Genre: science fiction short story

Setting: near future

Summary: An abstract on autonomous vehicles reveals the death of the author’s child in the footnotes

Final thoughts: This is a short story that takes advantage of hyperlinks and benefits from being read online. The main part of the story is only a paragraph long. However, each sentence has multiple footnotes that reveal a story behind the research. The author’s daughter was obviously killed by an autonomous vehicle that chose to save an endangered woodpecker over a child. The author is just as obviously upset that the vehicle would make that choice. Editor’s notes on the writing further reveal a friend who is concerned about the author’s response to the incident.

Title comes from: STET is an editing term used to indicate to a printer that they should ignore the editor’s comments and stick with the original wording.



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