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…
Hitomi is a foreign-born street thief with dangerous secrets: untrained magical abilities and ties to the Shadow League, enemies of the corrupt Archmage. But even the haunted streets of Karolene are safer than what awaits her beyond its borders.
Tazir needs to take find a passenger to pay the bills, but when a rich girl with too much money crosses her path in Shasa’s dive bar, she quickly realises she’s taken on more than she bargained for. Shina is more than she seems – the last, best hope to defeat the marauding Dragon Ships and restore the Windspeakers’ power.
A sleepy Cotswold town faces an existential threat: a major supermarket wishes to open on the outskirts. But this is more than just a vexing question of planning permission that will set neighbour against neighbour. This is a threat to the very fabric of reality. At least, that’s what Judith says.
Christmas Eve is when Icelanders given books to one another and winter is when we Brits historically told ghost stories by the fire. I’m celebrating the season with a collection of speculative horror stories chosen by Margrét Helgadóttir.
It’s the first Friday of SciFi Month, and today it’s time for something a bit different for Bite-size Books: the first ever guest post here at x+1.
Lesley Conner, managing editor of Apex Magazine, is taking the keyboard to try and get to the bottom of what makes a short story an Apex short story. Over to Lesley – and her special guests, my colleagues on the slush team!
One of the great joys of the Riverside books and Tremontaine is that they act as glimpses into a timeline. With The Eye of the Swan, Kelly Robson pushes the clock back further even than Tremontaine, narrowing in on the period after Diane has arrived in the City, but before she has truly flowered as the Duchess. Welcome to a more innocent time.