Hugo reading 2017: Haunted, by Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey was nominated for a Campbell award, and provided one short story, Haunted, which came with a content note for domestic violence.  This does not sound promising, but here goes…

The story is written from the point of view of the house in which it happened.  At first, the house identifies strongly with the victim, Marthe, who loved the house, and eventually haunts it, but as time goes by, the house begins to feel trapped and resentful of the ghost which keeps anyone else from moving in, and keeps the house itself from moving on. This is straight horror, with some very good writing. I like this, especially:

He always kept his shoes on.  I should have known, just from that.  He treated the wood on the floors the same as he treated the dirt outside, the same as he treated his wife.

I liked this story far more than I expected to.  I’m not quite sure how to rank it compared to the others (it’s difficult when you are comparing three or four works with just one work), but I think I’ll be putting it second, after Penny, but before Robson.