This month I’ve read a few short stories that are available free online from various science fiction and fantasy sites.
“Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon.
At night the jackalope wives dance around the bonfire, leaving their rabbit skins behind. A young man sees them dancing and decides to take one for his own, throwing her rabbit skin into the fire so she’ll be trapped in human form. It is up to his grandmother to deal with the catastrophic results of his action.
“Memorials” by Aliette de Bodard.
A woman deals in secret AIs made of the memories of her people’s elders, handing them over to be broken into parts, their memories reused in the dominant culture’s media and entertainment.
“The Days of Flaming Motorcycles” by Catherynne M. Valente.
The zombie apocalypse has arrived, not with a bang but with a stutter. The narrator is possibly the last remaining human in her hometown, accompanied only by the walking dead. Yet the zombies seem to retain some awareness of who they once where.
“A Kiss with Teeth” by Max Gladstone.
A vampire settles down with a former vampire hunter and has a son. Now he’s trying to be a father to his child while dealing with his inner monstrosity.
I really enjoyed all of these stories, although if I had to pick a favorite it’d probably be “A Kiss with Teeth.” There’s just so many good, free short stories out there – I really need to start exploring the format more.