Highlighting each of the 2021 Nebula Award Finalists in the Short Story category. … More Nebula Award Finalists – Last Day to Vote!
It is 7 p.m. on a snowy January evening, and Penny is a 13-year-old who likes fruity lip balms, wears leggings, and notices everything, like how she’s expected to wash the dishes but her older brother is excused to finish his homework. … More Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math by Aimee Picchi
133 Poisonwood Avenue would be stronger if it was a killer house. There is an estate at 35 Silver Street that annihilated a family back in the 1800s and its roof has never sprung a leak since. In 2007 it still had the power to trap a bickering couple in an endless hedge maze that was physically only three hundred square feet. 35 Silver Street is a show-off. … More Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell
This particular microfiction is a short, sweet love story between a talkative, caring carpenter’s son and a nonverbal apothecary. Each day, the carpenter’s son visits the taciturn apothecary to pick up ointments and remedies for his father. Each day, he grows slightly more attached to the friendly, hardworking man. … More The Apothecary & The Carpenter’s Son by Johannes T. Evans
When Niovi tried to smuggle her mother’s ghost into the new country, she found herself being passed from one security officer to another, detailing her mother’s place and date of death over and over again.
“Are you carrying a ghost with you, ma’am?” asked the woman in the security vest. Her nametag read Stella. Her lips were pressed in a tight line as she pointed at the ghost during the screening, tucked inside a necklace. She took away Niovi’s necklace and left only her phone. … More My Country Is a Ghost by Eugenia Triantafyllou
In The Salt Witch, Martha Wells explores the intersection between heritage and individuality within a patriarchal culture steeped in gendered expectations. Juana, a witch attempting to traverse the sea in a broken sailboat, instead finds herself washed ashore a ghost island filled with the victims of a hurricane and held captive by a malevolent force residing in its center. … More The Salt Witch by Martha Wells
Né łe! was originally published in Love Beyond Body, Space and Time, an anthology forcused on indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. It’s a beautiful little f/f love story that showcases indigenous women in STEM. Further, it does a great job at representing the differences between two women of different indigenous backgrounds. While they have similarities, their cultures are not presented as identical. … More Né łe! by Darcie Little Badger
Every culture has their folklore and in it their culture is reflected. It makes me so unhappy that so many people never get to see themselves in the fiction we read back when we were all in school – especially when I read a story that would have been just perfect. I think of those years of uncertainty and unhappiness. It could have been avoided. In isolation these past four weeks, these feelings are amplified. The missed opportunities for human connection and understanding feel all the more bittersweet. Why couldn’t we have had this story earlier? Why couldn’t we share it amongst ourselves and understand ourselves early? It seems a tragedy. … More To Balance the Weight of Khalem by R.B. Lemberg
In The Little Free Library, Kritzer creates an imaginative fantasy around the idea of Little Free Libraries. If you’re unfamiliar with Little Free Libraries, they are, in essence, a “take one leave one” book box. The goal is to create a sense of community and giving focused on books. I’ve always been enamored of the idea, and it’s especially comforting in dark times like these. When we have to be physically separated, these little points of connection can keep us together. … More Little Free Library by Naomi Kritzer
Marlee tells us a story in which no one is safe – and it’s not just the virus that endangers them. It’s the way communities fracture, the food scarcity, and the lack of infrastructure in place to handle a disaster. This is a rupture in the fabric of society.
The vision of plague Marlee creates is told in just a few small vignettes. Specifically, ones focused on meal time. First, there are rustlings in the new while she makes baked risotto. Later, they’re lucky to have beans. Soon, they’re grateful for a meager mix of flour and water. It’s desperate, and real. … More Starving to Death in Brunswick West by Marlee Jane Ward