Welcome to my post on short fiction reading for the month! I love the plethora of free science fiction and fantasy short stories available online. There’s so many wonderful tales, and I’m happy to be able to share some with you.
“Black, Their Regalia” by Darcie Little Badger
The plague kills slowly. Those infected can take up to a year to die. The Apparently Siblings, a band of three Native musicians, are on a train to a hospital camp for the dying. But as the plague rages on, Tulli has an idea that might save everyone.
“A Hundred and Seventy Storms” by Aliette de Bodard
The Snow Like a Dancer is a mind ship on a dangerous backwater planet, slowly dying as she’s wrecked by storm after storm. The mind ship before her managed to survive one hundred and sixty nine storms. This is The Snow Like a Dancer‘s one hundred and seventy seventh storm.
“A Lumberjack’s Guide to Dryad Spotting” by Charles Payseur
A flash fiction story about a lumberjack who hopes to find and profit off of dryad, using the money to make a safe home for himself and his lover.
“This Is Not a Wardrobe Door” by A. Merc Rustad
Ellie has a door that takes her to another world, where she can visit her friend Zera. But then the door stops working. This flash fiction story switches between Ellie’s childhood letters to the doorkeeper and her friend Zera’s quest to regain the connection to Ellie’s world. For all its brevity, there’s a poignancy to this story that was almost overwhelming by the end.
“That Game We Played During War” by Carrie Vaughn
The people of Gaant and Enith have been at war for decades, but now a tentative peace has fallen. In the dawn of new possibilities, Calla, a nurse from Enith, travels to visit Valk, a military officer from Gaant, to play a game of chess. The game of chess between the two mirrors the conflict of their countries: the telepathic Gaant versus the non-telepathic Enith. This is a lovely story and entirely deserving of its Hugo nomination.
As always, if you know of any short stories I might enjoy, tell me in the comments!