In this last short story round up of the month, I explore tales by Bogi Takács, JY Yang, Caroline M. Yoachim and more.
“Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch” by Darcie Little Badger
Owl is a harbinger of trouble and misfortune, and Nina keeps seeing him.
“Two to Leave” by Yoon Ha Lee
The narrator of this story has made his heart into a weapon and encroached on the territory of the ferryman.
“Memories of My Mother” by Ken Liu
Amy’s mother is sick and only has two more years to live. But she’s stretching out her life with the relativity of time, seeing Amy only once every seven years.
“Treasure Acre” by Everett Maroon
Derrick is looking for a box buried by Danielle, needing it to change both of their lives.
“The River’s Children” by Shweta Narayan
This flash fiction story is a wonderfully original flash fiction fairy tale, about the romance between a genderfluid prince and a river.
“Between Dragons and Their Wrath” by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky
Every part of a dragon is dangerous. Their scales will cut through anything. Their droppings will prevent you from ever feeling full again. Their blood will drive you mad. Yet everyday, Domei ventures into the forest to collect their scales.
“Join Our Team of Time Travel Professionals” by Sarah Pinsker
Magda has a terrible job — playing babysitter to a bunch of rich time traveling tourists. In her disguise as a bag lady, she’s got to follow them through 1985 New York, making sure they don’t drop trash from the future.
Humanity is leaving their bodies behind and venturing into the Sing. A teenage girl named Maddie lists everything she wants to do before that happens, crossing out the ones she accomplishes.
“Letting Go” by Alex Shvartsman
Your love is going on an interstellar voyage. When she returns, twenty years will have passed for you, but only two for her. She’s traveling forward in time, and you want to travel with her.
“Nothing Is Pixels Here” by K.M. Szpara
Ash lives in an unreal world, a world of pixels and code. He hasn’t been out in the real world since he was five years old, but he’s starting to wonder what it would feel like. “Nothing Is Pixels Here” ends up taking a different choice than I expected. I guess I just assume that stories always support the idea that living in the “real” world is better.
“Towards the Luminous Towers” by Bogi Takács
I love with stories mix genres! This story is a combination of science fiction and fantasy, where some people have magical abilities that let them coordinate war machines. But the enemy has developed a virus, and only one, neuro-atypical controller is left.
“Super Bass” by Kai Ashante Wilson
Gian returned from a war to Sea-John, where he’s found a new love. His love has been chosen to be the Summer King in a yearly celebration.
“And If the Body Were Not the Soul” by A.C. Wise
Ro is asexual and touch repulsed. They hate the feeling of being in a body, flesh and bones. When they touch Xal, an alien, it’s an entirely different sensation — a connection of minds and souls as bodies.
“Waiting on a Bright Moon” by JY Yang
“Waiting on a Bright Moon” is another beautiful story by JY Yang. It’s another that mixes science fiction and fantasy, with colonies across space linked by ansibles. But the ansibles are all women of “a certain closeness” who are separated from the ones they love and made to open a connection with their song.
“Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim
I really loved the core idea of this story — a world of clockwork puppets who only have so many turns each day. Each night the Maker turns their key, giving them a set number of turns for the day. Each puppet has to make the best of the turns they have. I would actually love to see this setting explored more. This story’s about the life of a single puppet, but I have so many questions about the wider world!
What short stories have you read recently?