Tag Archives: short fiction

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: KALEIDOSCOPE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & SANDRINE by Alexandra Munch


These two stories both revolve around relationships. In each, there is a sense of orbiting, characters close, but potentially never close enough. They are lovely in their own distinct ways.

KALEIDOSCOPE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a stylized story dealing with characters whose lives touch in different ways in many iterations and time-lines. There’s so much emotion packed tightly into this piece, with its cluster of color that sweeps past quickly, just like you’re watching their lives through a spinning kaleidoscope. Absolutely wonderful. Published in Constelación.

SANDRINE by Alexandra Munch is the tale of the relationship Nicole has with a sun god, who has literal planets revolving around her, including the sand-strewn and lovely Sandrine. There’s a push and pull here, dealing with hidden stress and beautiful visages. Published in Strange Horizons.


Recommended Short Fiction: DEAD AT THE FEET OF A GOD by Izzy Wasserstein & A GIFT, A WITCH AND A WAKENING OF HONEY by Elou Carroll


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.


Recommended Short Fiction: ASK THE FIREFLIES by R. P. Sand & MY MOTHER’S HAND by Dante Luiz


Both these two stories deal with parental relationships with their daughters when those relationships are bent and twisted.

My Mother’s Hand by Dante Luiz is about a sailor whose mother possesses her arm. That is probably enough of an intrigue to go read this story, but it gets better, for the tale revolves around identity and the power and pain wielded by those who believe they should have say in their children’s identities. Published in Constelación.

Ask the Fireflies by R. P. Sand is about an AI who loves and cares for a little girl, and above all else strives to protect her, from her parents, from her doctors, and from her own dark thoughts. Absolutely enthralling, this story deals quite viscerally with the question of what a life is, regardless whether it’s visible to others. Published in Clarkesworld.