I just updated my webpage, which was 2+ years out of date, and that included updating the list of stuff I have available online for free. So y’know, link for if you’re bored and want something to read :)
A couple of them by categories people following me might like -
Genderfluid fairy tale -
The River’s Children
Poetry on illness -
Persephone in Grey
Yajñāḥ / Offering
Triumph XIII: Chaaya
Complicated-feels poems about myself & mother (Also, illness, because that’s sort of central to everything for me) -
Check out this chilling short story reprinted in Nightmare magazine.
I can’t read horror, but signal boosting.
there’s a CREEPY BABY
Winners included two writers I’ve been following here, Ken Liu (Best Short Story) and E. Lily Yu (John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer).
In the morning, you’re no longer quite sure who you are.
You stand in front of the mirror—it shifts and trembles, reflecting only what you want to see—eyes that feel too wide, skin that feels too pale, an odd, distant smell wafting from the compartment’s ambient system that is neither incense nor garlic, but something else, something elusive that you once knew.
You’re dressed, already—not on your skin, but outside, where it matters, your avatar sporting blue and black and gold, the stylish clothes of a well-travelled, well-connected woman. For a moment, as you turn away from the mirror, the glass shimmers out of focus; and another woman in a dull silk gown stares back at you: smaller, squatter and in every way diminished—a stranger, a distant memory that has ceased to have any meaning.
“Safer to get rid of something one didn’t understand”: Shinichi Hoshi’s “He-y, Come On Ou-t!”
The last of these Caveman Science Fiction comics reminded me of a story I read a long time ago, and after a bit of Googling learned it was “He-y, Come On Ou-t!” by Japanese sf author Shinichi Hoshi (1926-1997), a prolific author of “short-short” stories.
Not that I condone copyright violation *cough*, but here’s the full story. When an old village shrine is wrecked by a tsunami, the villagers find a mysterious, seemingly bottomless hole, and call in the experts…
The scientist contacted people at his laboratory and had them bring out a high-powered bull horn, with which he was going to check out the echo from the hole’s bottom. He tried switching through various sounds, but there was no echo. The scientist was puzzled, but he could not very well give up with everyone watching him so intently. He put the bull horn right up to the hole, turned it to its highest volume, and let it sound continuously for a long time. It was a noise that would have carried several dozen kilometers above ground. But the hole just calmly swallowed up the sound.
In his own mind the scientist was at a loss, but with a look of apparent composure he cut off the sound and, in a manner suggesting that the whole thing had a perfectly plausible explanation, said simply, “Fill it in.”
…The concessionaire had his cohorts mount a loud campaign in the city. “We’ve got a fabulously deep hole! Scientists say it’s at least five thousand meters deep! Perfect for the disposal of such things as waste from nuclear reactors.”
Government authorities granted permission. Nuclear power plants fought for contracts. The people of the village were a bit worried about this, but they consented when it was explained that there would be absolutely no above-ground contamination for several thousand years and that they would share in the profits. Into the bargain, very shortly a magnificent road was built from the city to the village…
To my glee, there’s a UK-produced short film based on the story.
P. S. X. adds there’s a similar bit in a Discword book—anyone know which one?
A new story by Nnedi Okorafor, “Hello, Moto”, with art by Jillian Tamaki, up at Tor!
With the wig finally off, Coco and Philo felt more distant to me. Thank God.
Even so, because it was sitting beside me, I could still see them. Clearly. In my head. Don’t ever mix juju with technology. There is witchcraft in science and a science to witchcraft. Both will conspire against you eventually…
The people of a certain red star no longer speak its name in any of their hundreds of languages, although they paint alien skies with its whorled light and scorch its spectral lines into the sides of their vessels.
Their most common cult, although by no means a universal one, is that of many-cornered Mrithaya, Mother of the Conflagration. Mrithaya is commonly conceived of as the god of catastrophe and disease, impartial in the injuries she deals out. Any gifts she bestows are incidental, and usually come with sharp edges. The stardrive was invented by one of her worshipers.
“No one had told her—not the realtor, not the elderly widow she’d only met once when they signed the paperwork at the lawyer’s office downtown, not Graceville Prep’s cheerful headmistress. Even a random first-grader at the grocery store could have told her that one must never, ever go swimming in Graceville’s lakes during the summer. The man-made lakes were fine, but the natural lakes that had once been swampland were to be avoided by children in particular. And women of childbearing age—which Abbie LaFleur still was at thirty-six, albeit barely. And men who were prone to quick tempers or alcohol binges.
Further, one must never, ever swim in Graceville’s lakes in summer without clothing, when crevices and weaknesses were most exposed.
In retrospect, she was foolish. But in all fairness, how could she have known?”
– Tananarive Due, “The Lake”, online at Tor.com.