Here at Tor.com we love short fiction and all the various forms in which it appears in our fine genre. At the end of every month, we’ll round up some selections of SFF short fiction from print and webzines around the world!
A small note: the listed stories are not meant as a comprehensive list, so feel free to explore the linked magazines and fiction sites for more, or point out other February releases in the comments! Also, this list is much shorter than last month because many SF&F publications are published every OTHER month, meaning there weren’t new stories from February. (We highlighted John Kessel’s “Clean” from The March issue of Asimov’s last month, as that was the issue on the stands at the time of the post.)
Clarkesworld Magazine (Edited by Neil Clarke)
“Diving After the Moon” by Rachel Swirsky. In a near future Earth, a mission to the moon is monitored closely by a worried mother of a geologist named Sopa Norbu. Norbu’s mission to the moon is put into jeopardy early in the story by explosively political problem back on Earth. Mixing a type fable with science fiction, this touching and slightly goofy tale brings in a very unlikely group of rescuers. With oxygen and supplies running out fast will these these stranded astronauts last long enough to receive a visit from…monkeys?
Lightspeed Magazine (Edited by John Joseph Adams)
“Simulacrum” by Ken Liu. In this fantastic story the creator of an advanced holographic technology called simulacra recounts his estranged relationship with his daughter who was also the first subject of his world-changing invention. The narrative switches back and forth from the recollections of the father, to the assertions of the daughter, resulting in layered portrait of a strained family affected by a great science fiction conceit. The great thing about this story is that it ultimately a quiet family drama, albeit one with a futuristic holograms.
Strange Horizons (Edited by Niall Harrison)
“The Yews Embrace” by Francesca Forrest. Initially, a seemingly by-the-numbers epic fantasy tale rapidly turns into psychological drama. The story opens with a tyrannical king providing a very shady explanation as to the death of certain infant and mother. Throughout the story however the spirits of these victims return in unexpected ways. You’ll never look at certain trees the same way!
Tor.com (Guest edited in February by Jim Frenkel and Megan Messinger)
- “Though Smoke Shall Hide the Sun” by Brit Mandelo.
- “The Great Defense of Layosah” by Peter Orullian. Set in the same world as The Vault of Heaven series, this story also serves as a companion to “Sacrifice of the First Sheason.”
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