In a future devoid of creativity, a couple is about to become parents for a second time. This comment on expectations and disappointment manages to flesh out an entire world—replete with an alternate history—beautifully in its few short pages, although its real message is cleverly revealed in an ending the reader doesn’t expect.
Personally, I love this story for its corporeal rendering; there are at least two images I never forgot after having read this for the first time over a decade ago.
“Partial Eclipse” is the opening story in Joyce’s collection Partial Eclipse and Other Stories. I did not realize how lucky I was to have a signed, numbered, limited-edition copy of this book (and now I’m sorry I wrote in it, but hell, it’s what I do with every book I cherish!) until I went to find information for this post. Everywhere I looked was sold out. Amazon, it looks like, occasionally gets some second-handers: https://amzn.com/B000MVQWTA If you’re desperate, reach out to me through my Contact Page.