December 2016 SFF Short Story Reading

I’ve been able to read some more SFF short fiction this holiday season. All of the short stories below are some form of speculative fiction and are available for free online.

“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brook Bolander is a deeply feminist story, critically relevant to the times we live in. The narrator was murdered by a serial killer, but she refuses to make this a story about her victimization. The story’s shorter than most of the others in this post, but it is one of the most powerful.

“Three Voices” by Lisa Bolekaja is the story of an impossible piece of music. Andre has spent years searching for someone who is capable of singing the mysterious song left to him by his father when he finds Tyre, the woman who might just be able to bring the song to life.

“The Shape of My Name” by Nino Cipri is a lovely transgender time travel story.

“Catcall” by Delilah S. Dawson is about a girl discovering her own power.

“Can’t Beat ‘Em” by Nalo Hopkinson is a story that’s difficult to describe. Let’s just say there’s something unusual stuck in the protagonist’s drain.

“The Green Knight’s Wife” by Kat Howard is a retelling of the Green Knight story from the perspective of his wife. After all, what are her thoughts on being part of her husband’s test?

“The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley showcases the author’s usual highly imaginative world building. It’s a bloody story with an older anti-heroine as the protagonist.

“The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake” by Lynn E. O’Connacht is a fairy tale that acts as a metaphor for explaining demisexuality. I kept imagining really cute cartoon illustrations as I read it!

“All That Touches the Air” by An Owomoyela is a haunting science fiction story, set on a planet which humans share with a species of sentient bacteria. If the humans venture beyond their dome, the bacteria are free to claim their bodies.

“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong is one of the darkest tales of those I’m collecting here. Since the death of his father, Ellis has been surviving at Madam Lettie’s brothel. But Ellis’s powers and strange connection to the desert and its dead continue to grow.

“The Witch of the Orion Waste and the Boy Knight” by E. Lily Yu is an original fairy tale about a young witch who accompanies a knight to hunt dragons.


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