The two stories I’m recommending today have to deal with claiming oneself rather than being or doing what others expect of you. This is particularly true of woman in many societies, where we have been taught that our purpose is to serve, to sacrifice. These stories push against that narrative in delightful ways.
CONSOLIDATION by Langley Hyde is a science-fiction tale about an android fit with an adaptive/pleasing personality who is then repurposed in order to help exterminate natives on a planet. This is her tale of discovery, her tale of waking up, of realizing the pressures of her programming that represent so keenly the issues that woman face. Published in Escape Pod.
THE DRAGON MAKER by Amy Clare Fontaine is a shorter piece about a woman who can draw dragons into life who is pushed to begin drawing dragons for others rather than herself. If you’ve ever felt this pressure to use your passions or your skills for other people, whether through work, hobbies, or otherwise, this story will speak to you. Published in Zooscape.
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.
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
I’ve been wanting to do recommended short fiction for a while, and now, after two years of keeping track of almost everything I’ve been reading, I’m finally getting down to the business of sharing short stories I’ve absolutely loved in the hopes that you’ll give them a read too.
The first two of the year I’d like to talk about are both from Constelación’s sample issue #0.5, a taste of things to come for this new magazine. Both were exemplary.
MAKEISHA IN TIME by Rachael K. Jones is a tale about a girl who lives countless lives across history. She is swept back in time at random moments, only to be returned in the exact same place and moment from when and where she’d disappeared. It’s a tale about historical erasure, about choosing what lives we wish to live.
I, CROCODILE by Jacinta Escudos is another powerful tale about a girl who can transform into a crocodile in the river. It deals with forced genital mutilation and the adults who propagate the ideas behind it. But especially, it deals with the fury of the ones who resist.