Continuing on my journey with the Deal Me in Short Story Challenge, this week I drew the Jack of Hearts and thus read "Freud at Thirty Paces" by Sara Paretsky. The story was first published in 1st CULPRIT: A Crime Writer's Annual edited by Liza Cody and Michael Z. Lewin in 1992. I have discovered, in only the few stories I have thus far encountered in the Crime Writer's Annuals, that the stories are all written by crime writer's but not all the stories are crime fiction. This one is humorous and it is interesting, with a substantial story, but it is not about a crime.
What I found very curious about this story is that is was also published a year later in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Seventh Annual Collection edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. As far as I can tell, the story is neither fantasy or horror. It is not strictly realistic, but I can't see it classified as any kind of fantasy. I would love to know why it was included in that volume.
The short introduction to the story in that volume (written by Terri Windling) describes Sara Paretsky as "the acclaimed bestselling author of the V.I. Warshawski mysteries. Her work is informed by a keen ear for dialogue and a sly sense of irony, yet retains a strong humanity. Vic, as only her friends may call her, works Chicago, where Paretsky lives."
The one sentence summary of the story is:
"Freud at Thirty Paces" is a hilarious account of two men at war with each other whose weapons are theory, Freud, and their own enlarged egos.I cannot think of anything to add to that. I enjoyed the story, it was entertaining, and it was not the story I expected.
Every other week I draw a random card to determine what short story I will read. My list of short stories for the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge is here. Jay at Bibliophilopolis hosts the challenge.