When Allah created man out of clay, he created djinn out of fire. Ephemeral spirits that tempt us, trick us, and sometimes grant our wishes, these creatures of folklore take centre stage in excellent Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin’s anthology, The Djinn Falls in Love.
“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.
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…
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.
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.
Strange things keep coming out of Nadia’s pockets. Not her things. Not things that might accidentally have found their way into the wrong coat. Not things that should, by rights, physically fit in the space afforded by the pockets in question. But they keep coming out. Pockets is the World Fantasy Award-nominated short story by Amal El-Mohtar.
The tales that trees tell – most of them – are too long, too slow, too uneventful for us to understand. But some stories snake like cold sap through their roots in winter and quicken in summer to race through their thickening foliage. These tales, you see, tell of people, of you and of me.
A group of young people go on holiday, running away from the tawdry disappointments of taking the first steps into their adult lives. They need a few days revelling in their friendship on a warm beach, rekindling old joys. But Punta Silenyo is an empty, haunted resort. Is it the best place to forget their cares?
Vita awakens blind, her onboard AI assuring her there’s no problem with visual feed. Stranded in a ship so damaged it can’t tell where it hurts, can Vita face her own wounds and find her way home?
The men who marry the desert (bad things happen to them)
Two young people try to make the best of their lives in a desert town struggling after the local mine collapsed. But the desert is drowned in secrets and raw with untapped power that threatens to consume them. Alyssa Wong has crafted a superb story that is shrouded in mystery and humming with myth.
A signal boost – because look HOW GORGEOUS this is (and then look at who has contributed and get even more excited).
I am running a book giveaway at Facebook. Enter before August 31st for a chance to win copies of the two coffee table books European Monsters and African Monsters.
Charlotte is dead, sacrificed on the word of a powerful man to buy the safety of her community. Her bones lie uneasily at the bottom of the garden by the river, its quiet lullaby doing nothing to reconcile her to her fate. Lullaby for a Lost World is another haunting short story from Aliette de Bodard.
Agatha is plump, her swelling belly a cause for mockery within her unpleasant family. Agatha is also rich and well-connected; she can buy a new one and sell hers on, jiggles and all. But when she sees her buyer, her desires change… J Y Yang’s Secondhand Bodies takes an unflinching look at toxic relationships and the arrogance of privilege.