Tag Archives: short stories

Gags, Bits, and Business by T. J. Berry

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix

Genre: clown fantasy/horror

Setting: generic city, present day

Summary: Short version: Clown autopsies are different from normal people’s Continue reading

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Painted Grassy Mire by Nicasio Andres Reed

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in Shimmer Magazine (you can read it free online at that link – check it out. It has some lovely illustrations to go along with the story)

Genre: fantasy short story

Setting: near Lake Borgne, Louisiana, present day

Summary: Short version: A girl finds her alligator selkie family Continue reading

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The Smoke Job by Aaron Canton

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: May, 2016 in Mothership Zeta

Genre: urban fantasy

Setting: Manhattan, present day

Summary: Short version: Dragons are best at exploiting greed

Long version: Charisma is a dragon posing as a young woman so she can slip through life in Manhattan, but still steal all the gold and jewels that she deserves. She’s caught by Abby, who blackmails Charisma into giving her an interview. Charisma figures she can work on Abby’s greed to get what she wants, so she goes along with it. Turns out, Abby was just bait for Brooke, a vampire who wants Char’s hoard and to turn her into a thrall. There’s a big fight in the vault that Brooke ultimately loses. Abby is able to convince Char to work with her stealing from magical creatures doing bad things.

Final thoughts: This was a really fun story. I loved the tone of the whole story. In fact, I had to read a couple of quotes to my kids. For example, Char says, “I knew I was good, and with my entire hoard at stake, there was no way I was going to lose to a witch paparazzi and a vampire boxer.” Or the fact that she baits Brooke into biting her, but dragon blood is hot so Brooke burns her mouth.

I will admit I’m a sucker for a dragon story. In this case, Charisma has a few skills I’m not used to seeing in dragons. She can use a smoke cloud to focus the greed of those around her and distract them from her stealing. Too bad a vampire doesn’t have to breathe. She can also track all of her hoard, and uses that skill to disarm Brooke’s thralls when the lights go out in her vault. The fighting is clever and Abby is able to win over Charisma by appealing to her greedy side. Overall, very high quality.

Title comes from: Charisma uses a puff of smoke as a weapon. It makes anyone who breathes focus solely on the acquisition of shiny things.

 

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Abere and the Poisoner by Jonathan Edelstein

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: September, 2016 in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (you can either read or listen to the story at that link)

Genre: folk tale

Setting: a Pacific island, pre-European contact

Summary: Short version: The swamp-witch will get you if you hunt the dream-orchids Continue reading

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The Martian Obelisk by Linda Nagata

Instead of my usual short fiction this Monday, I thought I’d review the short story Locus Award winner for 2018.

Published: July, 2017 at Tor (you can read it for free at that link)

Genre: science fiction short story

Setting: future Earth and Mars

Summary: Short version: Even when things look dire, there is still hope Continue reading

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Forget You by Mike Reeves-McMillan

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: in Daily Science Fiction, where you can still read it online for free

Genre: science fiction

Setting: future city on Earth

Summary: Short version: A memory gets the narrator in trouble

Long version: Our narrator meets a cute guy, but the ensuing relationship causes so much emotional trauma, she gets a memory reset to wipe him from her memory. When she leaves the clinic, she meets a cute guy at the bar next door, and the story seems to repeat itself.

Final thoughts: Our narrator seems to be in a perpetual loop. She meets a cute guy, he manipulates her emotionally, she wipes him from her memory and then falls in love with him again. I do have to wonder about him, because I don’t think he’s getting his memory wiped. Was he at that bar just because he knew she was going to get her memory wiped? If that’s true (and it seems likely to me), then he truly is a manipulative bastard. He knows just how to attract her and knows he’s got a fresh slate to work with, every time she gets her memory wiped. The implication is this is not the first time through the cycle. How many times does it have to occur before the doctor refuses to wipe the memory?

Title comes from: The narrator goes to get her memory erased in order to forget a guy who she promptly meets again without realizing they’ve had a relationship.

 

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Blood Bank by Tanya Huff

This was the last book in an omnibus collection of the Blood series that I bought.

Published: 1996

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 221 pages

Setting: various times and locations in Henry’s life Continue reading

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