Monday, July 18, 2011

Fiction rave: Gwendolyn Clare and Inspiration

My short fiction recommendation for this week is Gwendolyn Clare's "Perfect Lies" that appeared in Clarkesworld magazine. I occasionally read about how someone discovers that another author has written a similar story to what they wanted to write. One that possibly used a similar sense of inspiration. That happened with Gwendolyn Clare's story; however, I'm amused how the idea used for the inspiration can morph into an entirely different story.

"Perfect Lies" involves an alien delegation that instead of speaking use facial expressions to communicate. The idea of micro-expressions plays a significant role in the story. I'd first heard of micro-expressions in a radiolab show and my mind ran with rich thoughts of stories that could be written. However, my story would've ended up significantly different than Gwendolyn Clare's story.

I liked the premise, but it was the conflict and the main character that made this story sing. She's been cursed by an inability to show her expressions. This has been a handicap and makes her distant from most other people, but it makes her perfect as an ambassador to these people who can read humans easily. She can tell them perfect lies.


  1. "Perfect Lies" through facial expressions... sounds scary and interesting. Will check it out.