I don’t really care what it is you’re doing right now but you must drop it, whatever it is, and run out and find a copy of The Undiscovered by William Sanders.
The thing is, this is probably the best thing I’ve read this year.
But I can’t tell you *why* because it’s the surprise of the story that makes it what it is.
Trust me. Read this. I’ll be checking up on you. The discovery of The Undiscovered came via Amy H. Sturgis.
It’s a novellette, first published maybe a decade ago, and republished in various collections. The one I found was Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year’s best science fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois.
Norilana Press has a paperback and hardback collection of his work, called East of the Sun and West of Fort Smith. Wildside Press has a paperback collection called Are We Having Fun Yet? American Indian Fantasy Stories
Good luck in your Emergency Reading book search, we’ll catch up in a few weeks.