Two stories about finding a perfect fit, one with a transformation into a fish and the other about finding new homes for a dying people.
A MINNOW, OR PERHAPS A COLOSSAL SQUID by Carlos Hernandez & C S E Cooney is written in a partially experimental style, alternating between excerpts and letters in the perspective of one person who has been researching sirens, and a more traditional point of view of another who holds the job of apprentice to an executioner. This world is wondrous, with those who break the law being turned into a fish by the executioner until they’ve paid their dues. But what they are turned into depends on the person. Published in Mermaids Monthly.
A STRANGER GOES ASHORE by Adam R Shannon follows the story of Alain as he searches for a new island home for his people. Yet, with his people’s island crumbling and dying while ships are sent out over and over desperately hoping to find a new home, Alain has discovered something incredibly important about what they have been searching for all this time. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
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Tagged adam r shannon, bcs, beneath ceaseless skies, c s e cooney, carlos hernandez, fantasy, literary, mermaids monthly, sci-fi, science-fiction, short fiction, short reads, spec fic, speculative fiction
Both of these stories feature women dissatisfied with their life and the culture surrounding and influencing them.
ADVANCED WORD PROBLEMS IN PORTAL MATH by Aimee Picchi is a sweet flash piece told in word problems. It’s about a girl who longs for a chance at a different life, one not foisted upon her, one that allows her to escape from the cultural pressures that hold her down. Published in Daily Science Fiction.
DO NOT LOOK BACK, MY LION by Alix E. Harrow is a tale about a woman, husband to a female war chief. She has spent her life helping to raise her wife’s children, each of them promised to the war god and path of her people. But this constant uplifting of their leader’s wars grinds the main character down, and thus she runs. But running is only the beginning. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
These two are different in tone, yet are similar in character, with both stories revolving around a character with a power that others come seeking.
A GIFT, A WITCH AND A WAKENING OF HONEY by Elou Carroll is a warm, homey story about bees who come seeking help from a witch in order to heal a gray cast that has overwhelmed their colony. Quick and fun, this story could be a pick-me-up and give you a smile, what with the main character’s attitude and the bees’ penchant for gift-giving. Published in Hexagon.
DEAD AT THE FEET OF A GOD by Izzy Wasserstein is far more maudlin in tone, a story told by skipping backward in time to reveal the terrible path that has led the main character to the feet of a god. Yet, the main character also possesses a power, one of foreknowledge that resounds within the style chosen, as you, the reader, have foreknowledge of where the story will end. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Both stories this week are on the longer side, the two of them taking the time to deal with resistance against tyranny.
MY LOVE OUR LADY SLAUGHTER by Christine Lucas takes place on Mars, in a setting that feels science-fantasy, where certain people have the capability of inter-body telekinesis and are set apart, healing wounded without regard to which side of a war they fight. When found, they are forced to take a stand to protect their own morals and each other. Published in Strange Horizons 2020.
GIRLS WITH NEEDLES AND FROST by Jenny Rae Rappaport is a tale about seamstresses who slowly, slowly build a revolution against their oppressors. What I love about this story is that it acknowledges the humanity in the oppressors while maintaining the need for the oppressed to rise up. There’s also something metaphorically wonderful about the summoning of a dragon that can represent the congregation of the people finally being able to stand together. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2020.
Shades of Amber has gone live today in Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘ 95th issue. It is a short story set in a world where vibrant color swirls upon the skin of every person and limited spectrums are looked down upon. This is my third professional publication :)
The other story in the issue is Margaret Ronald’s The Governess and the Lobster, so I’m in some very good company.