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.
via Monster Book Giveaway — Margrét Helgadóttir
This anthology collects the best stories from the first six years of Apex Magazine, including several award-winning shorts, the readers’ Stories of the Year and some careful editorial selections to round it out. Expect 21 helpings of the surreal, the shocking, the strange and the rather beautiful.
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.
This is the last of my posts on award-nominated short fiction for the time being, with the Locus awards almost upon us. Folding Beijing is a scintillating vision from Chinese author Hao Jingfang (translation by Ken Liu): an urban fairy tale in a chillingly recognisable future. In the China of tomorrow, everyone will have a place.
Professor Duy Uyen is dead, her life’s work – to grow food in space and bring food safety to the Dai Viet Empire – unfinished. Aliette de Bodard’s Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight explores the impact of the Professor’s death on the three people closest to her, a melancholy exploration of mourning, reflection and acceptance.
The Best of Apex kicks off with multi-awarding short story Jackalope Wives. When Eva’s brooding boy half-catches himself a jackalope wife, he turns to his Grandma Harken for help. But there’s not much an old lady can do about some mistakes. Or is there?
Bonus bite: Grandma Harken deserves more than one story, so Ursula Vernon wrote her another adventure – The Tomato Thief.
Timmy Wilde has disappeared, but his mom has a pretty good idea of how to find him. God-fearing woman and devoted pastor’s wife she may be, but she’ll do whatever it takes to bring her son home. Some journeys take you to unexpected places.
JB6847½ is a frankenship, cobbled together from the wreckage of two salvaged craft. Traumatised by memories of past deaths, only its love for its pilot drives it back into the vacuum of space to take on the Earth Force. But in the final days of a hopeless war, who knows what it may yet become.
Madeleine is in therapy, haunted by memories that take over her waking world like hallucinations. She blames the experimental drug trial she signed up to. Her therapist suspects it’s just another psychological tic brought on by grief.
Mildred is very sick. Some days she knows who she’s talking to, other days she doesn’t. But the family have invested in an android carer with a state-of-the-art empathy net, who can be anyone Mildred needs today. It will come to know all of them better than they know themselves.
Jenny has special dietary needs. Her hot dates all have dark thoughts and violent tendencies. They have no idea what’s coming for dessert.
Bonus bite: it’s the Nebula Awards this weekend, so you get an extra review! Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers sits on the borders of horror, subverting our sympathies right from its American Psycho opening scene.
Artificial Intelligence: self-aware, keeping a low profile, keen to help. Curious about morality. Fond of cat pictures.
Humanity: self-deluding; expert in denial; afraid of change; hard to help. Fond of cat pictures.
Maybe we can find some common ground.