Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story. La Signora August 13, 2014 La Signora Bruce McAllister If love is not enough, then maybe death... Sleeper August 12, 2014 Sleeper Jo Walton It is best to embrace subjectivity.
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August 15, 2014
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August 14, 2014
Doctor Who: “Deep Breath” (Non-spoiler Review)
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Showing posts tagged: stories click to see more stuff tagged with stories
Aug 18 2014 12:15pm

Congratulations to’s Hugo Award-Winners!

Hugo Awards

The 2014 Hugos were awarded at LonCon3 this past weekend, and, out of an extremely strong field, we’re thrilled that several pieces of original short fiction were honored.

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners, in particular to Best Short Story Winner John Chu (“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”), Best Novelette Winner Mary Robinette Kowal (“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”), and Best Novella Winner Charles Stross (“Equoid”)! Learn more about each of the winning entries below, and check out more of’s Original fiction!

[Fabulous stories await!]

May 14 2014 9:00am

“The Litany of Earth” and a New Generation Doing Wonderful Things

Ruthanna Emrys’s “The Litany of Earth” uses the Cthulhu mythos to talk about a subject dear to Lovecraft’s heart—racial hatred. It uses a mythology created by a racist in the 1920s to tell a story that directly addresses racism, in a context of Elder races and people who worship Cthulhu and have been persecuted for it. It’s the kind of story that uses the familiar and the strange together to make you think and make you care. It’s an excellent story. It’s also a milestone.

Some writers, like Samuel Delany, E. Lily Yu, and Brit Mandelo, emerge from their adolescence burning with talent and ready to take the world by storm.

Most of us take longer. Talent alone isn’t enough for most people, and craft skills take a little time to develop. It’s hard to say for sure what age most writers emerge, but if you look at the age of Campbell nominees for instance you see a median age of 33. (There’s a lot of variation of course. I was 37! And one of this year’s nominees, the wonderful Sofia Samatar, whose first novel A Stranger in Olondria is nominated for the Nebula, is 43.) But in general, you tend to see clusters of people coming into the field in their thirties with something to say and the skills to say it.

[Read more: a new generation doing wonderful things]

Feb 19 2014 12:15pm

Jedediah Berry’s “A Window or a Small Box” has been Selected for The Year’s Best SFF!

Congratulations to Jedediah Berry, whose story “A Window or a Small Box” will be included in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014! The novelette was originally published on on June 5, 2013, after being acquired by editor Ellen Datlow. You can read it here!

This sixth volume of The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy features over thirty stories by some of the genre’s most acclaimed authors, including Yoon Ha Lee, James Patrick Kelly, Ken Liu, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Carrie Vaughn, selected from venues including Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, F&SF. Congratulations to all the authors included!

Jan 29 2014 12:20pm

Check Out the Winners of Quantum Shorts 2013!

The results for the Quantum Shorts competition are in! The flash-fiction contest (stories not to exceed 1,000 words), organized by the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, drew more than 500 entries this year! The contest’s panel of judges included Patrick Nielsen Hayden, manager of the SF and fantasy line at Tor Books, and author John Scalzi, who recently won a Locus Award for Redshirts.

[Check out the winning stories!]

Dec 24 2013 9:00am

“I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W) by Neil Gaiman

Please enjoy what has fast become a quiet Christmas tradition in the offices: the reading of Neil Gaiman’s original story: “I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

Merry Christmas!



Cthulhu, they call me. Great Cthulhu.

Nobody can pronounce it right.

Are you writing this down? Every word? Good. Where shall I start—mm?

Very well, then. The beginning. Write this down, Whateley.

[Read more]

Oct 15 2013 10:00am

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow art by Greg Manchess



A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye;
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky.

Castle of Indolence


IN THE BOSOM OF one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.

[Continue reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow]

Jul 17 2013 8:00am

Five Years, Five Stories

I Saw the Figure Five in Gold, Charles Demuth

As part of our fifth birthday celebration, today’s “Story Wednesday” will feature five original stories. There are many things we are proud of when it comes to Our original fiction program, along with commissioned artwork for each, might be at the top of that list. We have been honored to published over 150 works of short fiction throughout this time and we’re looking forward to an even more robust list in the future.

We hope you enjoy today’s offerings:

[Read more]

Jul 2 2013 9:00am

PopSci Presents: Dispatches From the Future!

PopSci Daniel Dociu

We spend a lot of time thinking about the future here. (After all, it’s where we’ll be spending the rest of our lives.) Is it going to look like Clockwork Orange? Babel-17? Hill Valley circa 2015? If there’s a utopian community shot into space, will we make the cut? Popular Science has asked a stellar group of SFF writers and artists to imagine “How Life Will Be” in the future, and they’ve replied with a variety of micro-flash stories that create some fantastically diverse futures!

[Plus none of them are concerned about flying cars, because we’re beyond that]

May 21 2013 9:00am

Skin Like Porcelain Death

Skin Like Porcelain Death Daniel Jose OlderEnjoy this reprint of Daniel José Older’s “Skin Like Porcelain Death,” a short story that was originally published in his collection Salsa Nocturna by Crossed Genres Publications, available here.

In “Skin Like Porcelain Death” a half-resurrected cleanup man for the bureaucracy of death confronts a sorcerous collection of chipped porcelain dolls in an attempt to save the soul of a horny young man who chose the wrong girlfriend.

[Read “Skin Like Porcelain Death” by Daniel José Older]

Apr 30 2013 9:00am

Professor Incognito Apologizes

Austin Grossman

Professor Incognito Apologizes A Mad Scientist's Guide Austin GrossmanEnjoy this reprint of Austin Grossman’s “Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List,” a short story from John Joseph Adams’ recent anthology The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. Austin Grossman’s second novel You is available now from Little, Brown. For more information on the Mad Scientist's Guide, check out it's website here!

“Professor Incognito Apologizes” is both a heartfelt mea culpa by Professor Incognito on the event of his beloved discovering his disturbing experiments and an in-depth FAQ on how to adjust to that newfound knowledge. It provides an excellent blueprint for young mad scientists to follow when confronted with investigatively inclined significant others.

[Read “Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List” by Austin Grossman]

Apr 18 2013 9:00am

Last Son of Tomorrow

Last Son of Tomorrow

John was found as a child on the edge of a farm, and soon began to display amazing powers. He helped mankind, for a time, but as life went on, and on, this superhuman set his sights to the stars instead. With an infinite lifespan and an apparently limitless set of powers, John has to face the hardest of questions. What do you do, what should you do, when you can do anything?

[Read “Last Son of Tomorrow” by Greg van Eekhout]

Feb 4 2013 10:00am


Tim Maughan

"Paintwork"Enjoy this reprint of the title story from Tim Maughan’s short story collection Paintwork, a collection which also contains the BSFA Award nominated “Havana Augmented.” His collection comes highly recommended by Cory Doctorow and Ken MacLeod. His short story “Limited Edition” has been shortlisted for the 2012 BSFA Award.

“Paintwork” is a near-futuristic story of a virtual-reality graffiti artist specializing in defacing and reprogramming QR codes who is confronted with a series of impossibly fast takedowns of his latest series. He must find the artist who is dissing his works while struggling to face the validity of their critiques.

[Read More]

Nov 21 2012 1:00pm

Willful Child

A preview of Willful Child by Steven Erikson

As a thank you to Malazan fans on this site and everywhere, Steven Erikson has offered up a special treat! Enjoy this preview of “Willful Child,” an uncompleted sci-fi story that Steven Erikson has been tinkering with recently.

[Read “Willful Child”]

Oct 25 2012 2:00pm

A Ghost Story

Mark Twain

A Ghost Story by Mark Twain

Ghost Week continues with this Mark Twain story, simply titled “A Ghost Story,” though sometimes published as “A Ghost's Tale.” As with our other Ghost Week reprints, this comes from the Random House/Vintage anthology The Big Book of Ghost Stories edited by Otto Penzler. “A Ghost Story” was originally published in Werner's Readings and Recitations (New York, Edgar S. Werner Company, 1888).

[Read “A Ghost Story”]

Oct 24 2012 5:00pm

The Shadowy Third

Ellen Glasgow

The Shadowy Third by Ellen Glasgow

If you need solid, convincing spooky tales, Southern writers are often a good bet. Noted writer Ellen Glasgow grew up in the south and went on to be the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1941 for the novel In This Our Life. Please enjoy this wonderful Glasgow story originally published in Scribner's Magazine in 1916, which is now found in The Big Book of Ghost Stories edited by Otto Penzler, out last month from Random House/Vintage.

[Read “The Shadowy Third”]

Oct 22 2012 10:00am

The Terrible Old Man

H.P. Lovecraft

To kick off Ghost Week, please enjoy this classic H.P. Lovecraft chiller straight from the new  from Random House/Vintage Books; The Big Book of Ghost Stories edited by Otto Penzler! In “The Terrible Old Man,” the inhabitants of Kingsport are harboring a strange, secret person...or is he a person at all? This story was originally published in July of 1921 in a magazine called The Tryout. 

[Read more]

Apr 11 2012 10:00am
Original Story

On 20468 Petercook

Enjoy “On 20468 Petercook,” a new original story by author Andy Duncan about Stanley and George, two resolute employees of Trans-Space Enterprises tasked with adjusting reflective sheets on solar sails attached to asteroids, miniature planetoids, and the like. It doesn’t seem like an exciting life, but perhaps you’re simply not realizing the full dramatic potential of two mates sitting amongst asteroids, adjusting sails.

Ah, tea’s up.

This story was acquired and edited for by Tor Books editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

[Read “On 20468 Petercook”]

Feb 15 2012 10:00am
Original Story

Among the Silvering Herd

A.M. Dellamonica

Presenting a new original story, “Among the Silvering Herd,“ by author A.M. Dellamonica, the voice behind’s Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Rewatch, and the author of short story “The Cage,” a contemporary fantasy love story centering around werewolves which made the Locus 2010 Recommended Reading List.

“Among the Silvering Herd” is about loyalty, tradition, and the things people will do to protect what is theirs. For centuries, the island nation of Redcap has been obligated to pay tribute to the powerful nation of Sylvanna. Suffering under the heavy burden of the contract that by rights should be declared illegal, the princesses of Redcap summon Gale, a wealthy seawoman, to advise them. Political savvy is only one weapon in Gale’s diplomatic arsenal, but she’s up against a Sylvanner ambassador who will push her to the brink . . . or over it.

This story was acquired and edited for by Tor Books editor Jim Frenkel.

[Read “Among the Silvering Herd”]

Feb 14 2012 10:00am

Out Today! Some of the Best of, a Free Mini Ebook Anthology

We’ve collected a few of our favorite stories from 2011 and put them together in a mini free ebook, free for downloading. Of course, you can always read the stories for free right here, whenever you’d like, but for those on the go; Some of the Best of 2011 is available in the US starting today for Kindle and Nook, iBooks and other ebook retailers.

[Check out the list of included stories]

Feb 8 2012 10:00am

The Effect of Centrifugal Forces

Maureen F. McHugh

“The Effect of Centrifugal Forces” is an original story by Maureen F. McHugh first featured in After the Apocalypse, the 2011 collection of McHugh’s fiction released by Small Beer Press, hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the “best books of 2011”.

In “The Effect of Centrifugal Forces,” a teenage girl trapped in American suburbia grimly watches one of her mothers succumb to a brain-destroying disease carried by processed chicken nuggets. Her other relatives are even worse off, creating a landscape of sorrow and self-abuse that makes normal societal functions seem completely alien.

[Read “The Effect of Centrifugal Forces”]