Imagine an especially gifted boy playing selective breeding of animals. He has large cages filled with many kinds of mice - sort of microcosm to mice. He favors some with special traits, & arranges breeding conditions that make favored multiply - sacrificing other animals.
What if our universe is such a game, with we & other animals as pets & playthings!
In this story that has minor flavors of Theodore Sturgeon's "Microcosmic God" & Voltaire's "Plato's Dream", the protagonist discovers that the universe is not playground of one god but two. Sort of a competitive game where our god won!
I found it a good read, except for last 10%.
Fact sheet.First published: Asimov's, September 2007.
Download full text from publisher's site.
Among the preliminary nominees for Nebula Award 2008 in novelette category.
Related: Stories of Ted Kosmatka.