Binti and Okwu have settled into life at Oomza Uni – in so far as they can as a Meduse and a Himba with blue tentacles for hair. Troubled by nightmares and erratic rages, Binti becomes convinced she needs to go on pilgrimage to be ritually cleansed. She needs to go home.
Things aren’t the same in Lychford since That There Vote (no, not the one about the supermarket). There are new divisions between friends, neighbours and witches. With terrors beyond the magical boundaries, the question of borders has never been so charged.
SecUnits are standard issue, one per ten humans on a corporate deal that you can’t opt out of if you wish to survey a new world. They’re not well equipped and they’re not very clever, but they’ll rip themselves apart to protect their clients.
Well, most of the time.
In a past that nearly happened, hippos are a common feature of the American wetlands. Winston Houndstooth has a government charter to herd the dangerous ferals out of the Harriet and into the Mississippi Delta. But Winston wants to do more than make some money. He wants to get revenge.
Amelia lives in Mexico City, crowded into a tiny apartment with her sister and her resentment. She makes ends meet as a friend-for-hire, dreaming of a future on Mars that seems ever further out of reach. But when a new client turns out to be her wealthy ex, Amelia’s options seem as though they might open up.
‘Tis the season in Lychford: Autumn is feeling more single than ever, Judith is almost used to the idea that she might have friends, and Lizzie’s struggling to keep her Christmas spirit in the face of Greg Lake, a Christmas Eve wedding and ghostly visits from a scared young boy…
The Colony have hidden from Earth for 500 years, screened behind their dewline, protected by their superior technology and their augmented intelligence. But as humanity colonises the stars, they have never stopped hunting their wayward children. Who will inherit the stars?
Children go missing all the time. Sometimes, there is a fuss. Sometimes, they come home. Sometimes, they’ve been much further than you’d think. Welcome to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Leave your disbelief at the door. Open your heart wide. Bring tissues.
A Shuos graduate is rare in Kel command, but Shuos Jedao has earned his stripes. Still, his latest assignment is a mission better suited to his former career: go undercover in a rival empire to rescue a captured ‘trade’ vessel captained by a former classmate.
Of Sight, Of Mind, Of Heart is one of those short stories that should come with a warning: don’t read in public; guaranteed to make you cry. Guaranteed to make me cry, anyway, and it’s a pretty solid rule that I do love a story that grabs my heart strings and embarrasses me in public.
“You take a shortcut through the hydroponics bay on your way to work, and notice that the tomato plants are covered in tiny crawling insects that look like miniature beetles.”
WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
Caroline M Yoachim’s entertaining response wins a Nebula nomination.
Ellie and Zera are best friends from different worlds, separated by a wardrobe door that has closed without warning. Cut off by circumstance and by time streams that flow ever further apart, the friends realise that sometimes you must open your own doors. A Merc Rustad gives us a Nebula-nominated portal fantasy.
Climate change has herded humanity into Hives, the 99% pacified by a diet of mass media while the super-rich look out for themselves. Orphan Kir is part of a project – the Needle – trying to make mass migration into space feasible. But her on-board AI has uncovered secrets it wants to share with her – if it can find a way around the code that controls it.
I’ve been missing my weekly dose of Tremontaine, so it was with mingled delight and horror that I recalled I hadn’t yet treated myself to Tessa Gratton’s prequel story Nine Duels. Welcome to the heartache of smoking hot swordsman Vincent Applethorpe’s foreign adventures.
1970s Earth. The political situation is fraught, the music scene is humming, and out in space hangs the GCU Arbitrary and its motley crew of humans. Diziet Sma wants to make contact. Linter has gone native and is trying to escape the Arbitrary entirely. And Li wants to blow the place up…