Five Years, Five Stories

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:


Carrie Vaughn, The Best We Can

8:00 AM Eastern:
“The Best We Can” by Carrie Vaughn
First contact was supposed to change the course of human history. But it turns out, you still have to go to work the next morning
Art by Greg Ruth





Nancy Kress, One

9:00 AM Eastern:
“One” by Nancy Kress
A science fiction novella about an angry young boxer who, after experiencing a concussion in a bout, is able to sense what people are thinking and predict their every move. He finds this useful in boxing but not great for personal relationships, and turns to artificial means to deaden the sensations.
Art by Dave Palumbo



Lavie Tidhar, Dragonkin

10:00 AM Eastern
“Dragonkin” by Lavie Tidhar
There are kin and there are—kin. There are not many dragons, but there are many who think they are, or want to be, or claim to remember being.
Art by Greg Ruth





Ben Burgis, Contains Multitudes

11:00 AM Eastern
“Contains Multitudes” by Ben Burgis
Being a teenager is tough. Being part of the first generation of teenagers to share their body and soul with one of the aliens who just barely destroyed the earth: way tougher. This compact but powerful short story from Ben Burgis, a relative newcomer to the speculative fiction world, places everyday teen angst on a landscape of intergalactic and interspecies conflict, to chilling effect.
Art by Jeff Simpson


Tina Conolly, Old Dead Futures

12:00 PM Eastern
“Old Dead Futures” by Tina Connolly
In “Old Dead Futures,” a young boy’s ability to change the future makes him valuable to the government. But that same ability keeps him trapped in a wheelchair and at the mercy of those who would use him. When our present is fixed, how can we see a different future?
Art by Wesley Allsbrook



I’d like to thank our editors Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Liz Gorinsky, Ann VanderMeer, Ellen Datlow, and our many guest editors; all the artists that have made us look good over the years, the 120 (and counting!) authors for inviting us into their worlds. Our unsung heroes, editorial assistant Carl Engle-Laird and managing editor Jonathan Roberts. And of course the millions of readers that have come to and made this publishing program possible. I can’t wait to see what stories the next five years will bring.


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