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
This short story is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s about badass moms who are in the zombie apocalypse, and let me tell you – it’s accurate. These are some women who have been placed into impossible situations and are doing what’s necessary to move through it. … More Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson
This Is How is a contemplation on the fall from grace, the tragedies of untimely death, the horror of abuse, and the road to redemption. Valravns are created through a tragedy that is not in any way their fault. A child dies because others did not care for them. The raven does as ravens do – it feeds. Neither of these two parties are responsible for this. They are innocents. Yet, a monster is nevertheless created by the lack of care on the part of others. This mirrors the cycles of abuse that we see in families; although children aren’t at fault because their parents abused them, a new monster may well be created as the child continues the cycle of abuse once they become adults as well. The abused become abusers. Where valravns are concerned, the killed become the killers. … More This Is How by Marie Brennan
If you ever wanted a love story across multiple reincarnations between an occult detective and a demon, well, here you have it folks. This is a beautifully realized, off-beat love story between two people with quite unusual tastes. As they connect and reconnect across their lives, their love grows ever deeper and ever stronger – two halves of the same rather unusual whole. … More Black Flowers Blossom by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
For the month of December, Short Fiction Friday is being upgraded to feature daily stories as part of an advent calendar exchange I’m running with a friend! Every week, Black Forest Basilisks will be shining a spotlight on each of the short stories, novelettes, or flash fics that we exchanged for each day of advent. … More Christmas Advent: Short Story Edition! (Part 2)