As the Fire Burns Low

My last original story of 2016 just went live, so it’s time for the yearly round-up! It was my strongest publishing year to date, with 11 12 original stories appearing in magazines and podcasts across the short fiction world, including the first foreign language translations of my work. Whether you’re reading for awards season or for fun, check them out and let me know what you think!

If you’re short on time, take a look at the first three stories on the list, particularly “The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming Reptiles.”

All stories are available for free online except for “The Fall Shall Further the Flight In Me” and “The Raptor Snatchers.” I’m more than happy to provide text for these story for awards consideration upon request.

Original Stories – First Published in 2016:

The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming Reptiles

One, two, three eggs into her mouth, one sharp bite, and the clear, viscous glair ran down her throat. The shells were tougher than she expected. They tasted tart, like spoiled goat’s milk. She waited for the change, but the sun crawled higher and nothing happened.

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies (July 2016) {text | audio}

When First He Laid Eyes

A girl’s first stalker is always a cause for celebration.

  • Fireside Magazine (February 2016) {text}

Charlotte Incorporated

They don’t make puddle-stomping apps or mud pie-tasting apps. No one writes programs that let you run with a grocery cart down the cereal aisle, then coast on the back axle until you hit the shelf. You can download any number of romance sims, but there’s no sim for chasing encyclopedia salesmen off your doorstep with a sword made of skinny green balloons.

  • Lightspeed Magazine (February 2016) {text | audio}
  • io9 (February 2016) {text}

Indigo Blue

Nobody knew anticipation like those with tickets to Indigo. It was a bet you made with yourself that you would still want to go when the next pass happened, that you wouldn’t be in love or pregnant or dead from alcohol poisoning. It was self-predestination.

Houston, Houston, Do You Read James Tiptree?

“The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury,” she said after some thought. “Non-fiction. An alien visits Earth to write the definitive intergalactic biography of the science-fiction master.” Hugh had taught her to play this game. You mashed up a novel title with its author, then invented a short synopsis.

  • Nature (September 2016) {text}

Love Letters on the Nightmare Sea

After the wreck, I searched your papers, page after page of careful pencil sketches that took you away from me years ago. Notebooks crammed with radial starburst shapes–primitive cnidarians, hydrae and jellyfish and medusae in flowing tentacled skirts, their snapping purple beaks tucked beneath. But I did not find what stung you.

  • Flash Fiction Online (February 2016) {text}

This Story Begins With You

You found the library by accident. You were supposed to go to the gym, but you didn’t know the way, and the door looked so inviting, covered in twining leaves, with a big gold handle clenched in a lion’s jaw. Inside, a different kind of silence. Not whispered gossip, or the absence of a best friend’s laugh, but a chapel-washed peace, a squire’s midnight vigil at the shrine of a nameless saint. You took in high ceilings and long slanted windows that poured in sunlight in golden gulps.

  • Cast of Wonders (November 2016) {audio | text}

The Raptor Snatchers

We got a lot of stray raptors in Absence. They were indigenous–that means they were from around here, even before the first settlers, and that’s how they saved the lives of Mae Beth Harris and Old Jim the Presbyterian and the rest, because otherwise the Founders were going to eat each other. I asked my teacher if people are carnivores too, and he said yes, except there’s another word for it when it’s people eating people, but I forgot the word.

  • Intergalactic Medicine Show (June 2016) {text | audio}

Dinosaur Dreams In Infinite Measure

Mom had hands like dinosaur bones: fragile at a glance, but old and strong, hardened by time and pressure. Fossils endure. My mother had endured 80 years already, through disease and bereavement, through a long career ended in humiliation and disgrace, and now this final insult: her own daughter demanding she leave it all behind, the house and farm and everything in it.

The Fall Shall Further the Flight In Me

One evening, as I peeled rose stems from my stinging legs, I looked up at the darkling sky and saw a dazzling thing, neither bird nor saint, plummeting toward my garden.

When Lydia Becomes a Dinosaur

The truth is, try as we might to fight it, some little girls will grow up to be dinosaurs. Denying it doesn’t make it any easier, but still. It’s hard.

  • Daily Science Fiction (April 2016) {text}

The Innsmouth of the South

When your boss dies from Necronomicon-related causes at a Lovecraft theme park, it’s hard to decide whether you should return to clean out your locker in the morning, or just sleep in and update your resume.

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