All Fiction

Original fiction, comics, poetry, and reprinted stories published on Tor.com. For book excerpts and free chapters see here.

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Burned Away

, || When rumors of an uprising in Metaltown's factories hits Bakerstown, sixteen-year-old wannabe reporter Caris knows she's found the story that will finally prove her worth to the Journal. "Burned Away" is a standalone story set in the world of Metaltown (Tor Teen, September 2016).

The Key to the Coward’s Spell

, || Nursing an injured arm while on the job searching for a missing kid is bad enough for sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. But when he discovers a smuggling ring rumored to be protected by powerful magic, he seeks out old friends and new to lend a hand. A tale set in Alex Bledsoe's popular medieval noir world.

Ratspeak

, || Ratspeak is the the shrill and sly language of the rats of New York City's subway. When a curious boy is granted his wish to speak and understand the secret language of the rats, he brings a curse upon his home. "Ratspeak" is a standalone story by the acclaimed author of Vassa in the Night (Tor Teen, September 2016).

Up from Hell

, || Taranis and his men forage for the collected tribes of the Crow as they march against the Romans, but he brings back more than he bargained for when he frees a beautiful and mysterious prisoner, Alpnu. Together they face a power sealed in a cave for millennia and newly risen from Hell.

Her Scales Shine Like Music

|| Her Scales Shine Like Music by Rajnar Vajra is a moving science fiction novelette about an encounter and budding relationship between two aliens, one human, who are the only living creatures occupying a planet in deep space. The human is assigned to guard a valuable find, while his colleagues leave, to file a report with the company that hired them.

The Art of Space Travel

|| "The Art of Space Travel" by Nina Allan is a science fiction novelette. In 2047, a first manned mission to Mars ended in tragedy. Thirty years later, a second expedition is preparing to launch. As housekeeper of the hotel where two of the astronauts will give their final press statements, Emily finds the mission intruding upon her thoughts more and more. Emily's mother, Moolie, has a message to give her, but Moolie's memories are fading. As the astronauts' visit draws closer, the unearthing of a more personal history is about to alter Emily's world forever.

Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was

|| "Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was" by Paul McAuley is a complex sf story about politics and xenophobia when human colonists on an Earth-like planet are faced with the possibility of reaching out to alien cultures, especially when a big organization that has previously done harm is in charge of the operation.

Once More Into the Abyss

|| "Once More Into The Abyss" by Dennis Danvers is the last of three novelettes about Stan, whose parents claimed to be aliens and either perished or went home via an abyss in the middle of New Mexico. Stan is drawn back to the Abyss when his wife is offered a job there studying alien artifacts. So Stan and his family (wife, son, brother and three dogs) take a road trip.

Sic Semper, Sic Semper, Sic Semper

, || In the hollowed-out skull of the sixteenth President of the United States, a miserable time traveler builds a modest studio apartment and isolates himself from his own time, his own space, his own species, and his own past. But when gruesome reminders of his life prior to intracranial habitation begin appearing in his freshly constructed apartment, the time traveler is forced to either contend with his memories or, failing that, to run further away from them.

Chains

, || Anglet Sutonga is more realistic than most teenagers, but still dreams of rising above the impoverished streets of Bar-Selehm. When an opportunity comes along, will she take it? And what does she risk in order not to throw away her shot? A novelette set before the events of A.J. Hartley's Steeplejack.