“Spar,” by Kij Johnson (2009) K

Date Read: 10.28.09
Read From: Clarkesworld Magazine
Reviewer: Kakaner

“Spar” is a grim, vulgar, unrelenting torrent of images and words that will leave you mouth agape and reeling. It is the horrifying tale of neverending rape and an examination of the human psyche under a most extreme duress. The storytelling definitely fits the actions and story– short, hard sentences and fragments contrasting wistful remembrances of a life before. Johnson has created somewhat of a short fiction monster here, and I personally still don’t know quite what to make of it.

Go to:
Kij Johnson
Clarkesworld Magazine

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  1. Emera’s avatar

    Just read it and was consummately horrified. I think it’s pretty conceptually fascinating and I’d love to analyze it, but I can’t bear to bring myself to think about it any longer than I have to.


  2. Anda’s avatar

    I don’t…I don’t…I think I’m going to have to go with Emera on this, it’s a damn good read, but not the sort of thing the mind wants to dwell on.


  3. kakaner’s avatar


    you guys understand that um, i also agree with Emera right…. it’s crazy


  4. Emera’s avatar

    Oh, no, no one was disagreeing with you by any stretch of the imagination… I think we were all just momentarily adrift in personal bubbles of shell-shock. (hmmm, possibly not the best choice of metaphor there.)



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