S271. The Short Story as Laboratory

Marquis Salon 9 & 10, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


What does short fiction allow? The form is beloved by science fiction writers, who use it to test out hypothetical futures; what does it offer writers who are doing other kinds of testing, related to emotional transitions, marginality, and migration? Is the short story an inherently border form? This panel considers these questions, the challenge of putting a set of experiments into a collection, and the tension between the laboratory and the completed book.



Lesley Nneka Arimah is the author of the forthcoming collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky. Her short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, GRANTA, and elsewhere.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the forthcoming collection Her Body and Other Parties. Her fiction, criticism, and essays have appeared in the New YorkerGranta, NPR, and elsewhere. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop.

Kendra Fortmeyer is the prose editor for Broad! magazine with an MFA in fiction from the New Writers Project at UT Austin. Her stories have appeared in One Story, Black Warrior Review, the Literary Review, the Toast, and elsewhere, and her debut novel is forthcoming.

Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories. Her work has appeared in the New Inquiry, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, and elsewhere.

Juan Martinez is an assistant professor at Northwestern University. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Huizache, Ecotone, Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, Selected Shorts, Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, and elsewhere.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center