Tag Archives: fantasy

Recommended Books: THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY by Katherine Arden


THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY
Katherine Arden

The Winternight Trilogy, which includes The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch, is one of those rare beasts where each installment is as glorious as the last.

The story revolves around Vasilisa, or Vasya, who is born as the youngest child of a lord in Russia during a time when the old traditions of honoring the spirits have begun to fade in favor of Christianity. Yet, she is one who can still see the spirits, who understands the need to continue offerings to them in order to retain their protection and support in times of strife.

The Bear and the Nightingale is told in a beautiful, sedate style, traveling through Vasya’s youth, her encounters with the spirits and her struggles with a newly-come priest who begins to hear a voice that he thinks of as the voice of God. She is also introduced to Morozko, the demon of Frost and Death, who has unknown goals of his own for interacting with her, and threatened by the coming of the Bear, another of the great demon spirits who thrives in chaos and life. Continue reading

Recommended Short Fiction: COTTONMOUTH by Joelle Wellington & PROPHECY GIRLS by Sydney Paige Guerrero


My two recommended stories this week are serious in tone, centering on a woman who has been subjugated by a system and the men who run it.

COTTONMOUTH by Joelle Wellington is one of those powerful stories that have you on the edge of your seat, waiting, waiting for what’s to come. It tells the tale of a young man named Grant who finds a chained-up young women in the attic of the house he shares with his grandfather. Truly though, this tale isn’t about Grant at all, but rather all the men throughout the years like him and his grandfather, who had kept Black women in their power. Published in Apex Magazine.

PROPHECY GIRLS by Sydney Paige Guerrero is a story about Sen, the twenty-third girl to be the Chosen One of her world. Only, this time around, unlike all the previous Chosen Ones, she does not die. And in not dying, she begins to discover the truth about the system in place that demands a Chosen One’s sacrifice. A wonderful tale about a woman who faces down the cyclical nature of her subjugation. Published in Translunar Travelers Lounge.


Recommended Short Fiction: A STRANGER GOES ASHORE by Adam R Shannon & A MINNOW, OR PERHAPS A COLOSSAL SQUID by Carlos Hernandez & C S E Cooney


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.


Recommended Short Fiction: THE FALLING by M V Melcer & TIL HUMAN VOICES WAKE US by Jennifer Hudak


These two stories both center on difficult choices that can’t be undone.

THE FALLING by M V Melcer is a science-fiction tale about a girl living on ringed spaceship where people live on specific numbered rings depending on their usefulness and capability. This story documents her life as she discovers her passion, her calling, and the impossible decisions that come with all that she attains. Incredibly emotional and exceptionally beautiful even in its darkest moments. Published in Clarkesworld.

TIL HUMAN VOICES WAKE US by Jennifer Hudak is a lighter tale, about a girl who lives near the shore who discovers a secret about her own mother and grandmother. There is another difficult decision at play in this story, but one that leaves the reader with only minor heartache and a warm hug that will leave you smiling. Published in Mermaids Monthly.


Recommended Short Fiction: A GUIDE FOR WORKING BREEDS by Vina Jie-Min Prased & HOW TO SAFELY ENGAGE IN TELEPATHY WITH THE DOLPHINS OF OCEAN PARADISE by Elizabeth Cobbe


Two humorous stories told in experimental ways, both dealing with themes on freedom.

A GUIDE FOR WORKING BREEDS by Vina Jie-Min Prased is a delightful story told in DM/Text/Notification bits between a couple of robots, one having to mentor the other. There are dogs and killings and love and…you just really need to read it and smile along. Published in Made to Order Anthology and republished on Tor.com.

HOW TO SAFELY ENGAGE IN TELEPATHY WITH THE DOLPHINS OF OCEAN PARADISE by Elizabeth Cobbe is a serious tale camouflaged as humor. Told in a list/rule format style, this story takes you through the necessary precautions if you want to swim with the dolphins who can telepathically communicate with you. Only, there are asterisks and reasons for all these rules that you’ll come to realize. Published in Zooscape Zine.