Looking for the name (or website) of a chapter (or short story) that I saw on-line only a few years ago (c. 2014 to 2019), but cannot find any trace of. Might have been on io9 in an article on new sf/horror stories, but maybe not. Anyway…it fascinated me but was too horrific (body horror, claustrophobic) for me to finish at that time.

As I remember, the narrator wakes up in a small chamber, imprisoned with two other nameless people. The chamber is so small that they are jammed together standing up. There might have been grates to get food in and waste out. He’s in there for some time…the other two even have sex, but I don’t remember there being any dialog. It might have been completely dark as well. Eventually he finds a flaw in the wall and enlarges it, and sees (or enters) another cell that has a different prisoner.

I never read any more. It was a new story at the time, and possibly translated into English. Any ideas?


1 Answer 1


Is it possible you're mis-remembering Spar by Kij Johnson, the 2009 Nebula Award short story winner, published in Clarke's World? It's not a perfect match, but there are plenty of similarities.

Pros: very claustrophobic, jammed together, horror, sex, no dialog.

Cons: two entities rather than three, lifeboat rather than cell, different ending.

  • Thanks but that's not it. There was no aliens or spaceships involved, and sex was only mentioned in passing.
    – Steve H.
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 2:28
  • Ah well, it was a long shot, but I've seen longer ones hit the mark. Hope you find what you're looking for.
    – Moriarty
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 3:57

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