ChrisCast S2E20: Why is 'Satellites' by Rebecca Curtis featured fiction in The New Yorker?

I heard a New Yorker short story on a New Yorker podcast and was so shocked with its badness that I have become obsessed with it and this is the podcast I recorded after writing a Substack about it.


Quotes from Satellites by Rebecca Curtis that make me wonder why this short story is featured in The New Yorker instead of in an adventure or romance novel from Gold Eagle or Harlequin.

I'll let you be the judge. Satellites,” by Rebecca Curtis,is so basic and seems to be a short story interpretation of an Instagram Story, rife will brand names and wealth and buff dudes and ex-wives and tech money hyper-fit nerd billionaire ex-bankers. It's got all of it in there. An opening sentence of a short story, especially, is supposed to be amazing. Here's the first paragraph . . . be inspired! Incipit!

One day last July, my husband’s friend Tony Tarantino—a tall, good-looking, rib-eye-and-Scotch-loving, thrice-divorced, AB-negative Trump enthusiast—drove up from Virginia Beach to the Jersey shore to visit my husband, a retired banker, at his hulking nine-bedroom, eight-bath Tudor in the town of Coda-by-the-Sea, and after we’d all been chatting, sans masks, on the porch for a while, right after Tony enjoyed an organic, grass-fed “marrow burger” I’d picked up for him from Cavé, the excellent local paleo restaurant, his cell phone rang. He said, Hello . . . ?, then frowned and hung up. He blushed as he placed his phone on the table next to his mai tai.

Does this sound like a featured-fiction issue of The New Yorker or Hallmark Channel fan fiction?

Here’s the original article on my Substack and on my personal blog.

If you want to read this short story, check it out here: Fiction July 12 & 19, 2021 Issue Satellites By Rebecca Curtis July 5, 2021.

If you want to listen to the short story, check it out there: The Writer’s Voice: Fiction from the Magazine Rebecca Curtis Reads “Satellites” With Deborah Treisman July 6, 2021.