This post is yet more of the online SFF short fiction I’ve been reading this month.
“Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard
This short story is set in the same universe as her novella, On a Red Station, Drifting, which I read and loved last year. It’s a science fiction story about a device designed to immerse one in a foreign culture and a woman who becomes trapped in it and loses herself.
“Prudence and the Dragon” by Zen Cho
A dragon arrives in London and decides Prudence is the maiden he wants, but Prudence is an apathetic med student. I think this is set in the same world as her novel The Sorcerer and the Crown but in modern day London. I also read a sequel story, “The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life.”
“Bargain” by Sarah Gailey
This story is hilarious! A demon is summoned to make a deal with a mortal, but what happens is not at all what he expects. It would probably appeal to fans of Good Omens.
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer
An AI gains self awareness and begins pondering ethics. Does it have a responsibility to use its powers to improve human’s lives?
“Old Paint” by Megan Lindholm
“Old Paint” is a warm, nostalgic science fiction story about a family car.
“Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
This heartbreaking story won the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award. The narrator is the son of a catalog bride from China. When he’s a boy, she folds him origami animals which come to life once she breaths air into them. But he grows distant from her as he seeks to belong to mainstream American culture.
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong
I really loved this dark tale. The main character lives by devouring the thoughts of others, the darker and more twisted the better. When she gets a taste of a killer, she can’t be satisfied with the usual petty criminals she preys off of.
This batch of stories was of such quality that I can’t choose a favorite! I would heartily recommend all of them.