As I read through the Million Writers Award notable stories of 2007, one thought that kept returning to me is that there are a lot of sick puppies writing fiction. I mean, I couldn't even begin to count how many stories in this list deal with murder, sex, torture, insanity--and murderous sex while torturing someone with an insane rubber chicken (okay, I made that last one up).
Seriously, if there is one constant in the realm of fiction, it is that authors will turn time and again to stories about extreme people exploring the extremes of human nature. One story from the list that captures this aspect of humanity in a good way is "Small Pale Humans" by Daniel Spinks. Published in Bear Parade, the story follows a seriously crazy individual as he goes through the endless repetitions of his life. As Einstein is believed to have said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In "Small Pale Humans," you can easily see why this is a valid definition of insanity. I especially liked the format of the story, which is spread over 16 small chapters. This forces people to click through the chapters as they read them, giving a circular nature to the story which fits in well with its repetition theme. Spinks' writing is also top-notch.