These two stories deal with completely different topics within their underlying themes, but on their surface they are about a person and their relationship with some sort of online persona they’ve crafted.
EVERQUEST by Naomi Kanakia is about a man named Gopal who receives an online multiplayer role-playing game as a present. He crafts a female character, named Gayatri, and begins to fall into that fantasy world more and more. This story is about outward expression, the journey to acceptance of oneself and the cultural and familial pressure that can stall someone on their journey of discovery. Published in Lightspeed Magazine.
A COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT OF [REDACTED]’s VIDEO CHANNEL by Rhiannon Rasmussen is, just as it says, a literal translation of one person’s fumbling attempts to craft their own video channel. The videos—featuring how-tos and cooking recipes—devolve into disturbing territory that becomes almost comical in nature as you
watch read through these disasters. Published in Diabolical Plots.
by Martha Wells
Are you surprised to see this one here? I doubt it. I am one of those people who adore Murderbot in all its glory and have already recommended the previous novellas. In fact, I could probably go short-hand and just say that from henceforth, if the story belongs to Murderbot, then I recommend it. But there would be no fun at all in never
gushing writing about my love.
In this novel, an old friend of Murderbot’s returns and doesn’t seem to be friendly any longer. Some of Murderbot’s humans are kidnapped, leading to it having to determine how to keep them safe, while also investigating the mystery of what happened to its friend.
Science-fiction done from the perspective of a merciless killing machine, who really isn’t so merciless, and certainly isn’t just a machine. And who, really, would just like to be left alone in order to binge drama shows.
I have never written one of these before despite having stories published in prior years. But there’s a first for everything!
In 2020 I had a grand total of 1 stories published :) But it’s a story I’m proud of; it’s a story I think touches the hearts of most, if not all, writers.
Click to Read!
The Pop-up Artisan of Drink Me Café, published in October in both print and audio at Cast of Wonders, is my one eligible story during this awards season. It’s about 3400 words long and is about a girl escaping her grief and subsequent abuse and neglect by hiding in a café every one of us wishes existed, a café that changes decor and coffee offerings to match favorite fantasy and science-fiction books and shows. There she reads to find solace in other worlds as she struggles at home, at school, and in life. There’s something about her situation that speaks to the dreamers in us, just as there’s something magical in those cafés and coffee shops writers frequent :)
I hope you’ll give it a read or a listen in consideration of your nominations this year!
<3 Marie C.
Posted in Personal, Publications, Recommendation
Tagged audio, cast of wonders, hugos, nebulas, nominations, print, reading, short fiction, short story, the pop-up artisan of drink me café, writing
WEAVE THE LIGHTNING
by Corry L. Lee
This debut novel weaves together political intrigue and a circus with an interesting magical element. The characters in this story see double, literally, for in order to access the power to enhance items in their world, they must allow themselves to be immersed into the power of the storms that help draw out an intensity in their emotions. It’s a power that is illegal to use unless one is part of the government’s military, allowing them to be controlled and used.
Celka is a performer in the high wire act in a traveling circus along with the rest of her family, all of whom are also part of a resistance. On the other side is Gerrit, a young man trained within a specialized branch of the military and expected to produce enhanced weapons as part of his duty. But there are costs to enhancing, dire ones that may destroy him and all those who’ve trained beside him. The two of them come together in a meeting that might help them both or lead to their destruction.
There’s romance, betrayal, and secrets all at the core of this resistance novel. With a Russian backdrop and a brand-new set of magical rules, this is a fun story hiding much more sinister issues under its big top.