At the beginning of each month, we here at Tor.com will post the next two months of our schedule of original short fiction. Check back monthly to get excited for upcoming short stories, novelettes, and novellas on Tor.com! Below the cut you’ll find information on new stories in March and April by Harry Turtledove, Daniel José Older, Veronica Schanoes, Dale Bailey, and more.
March and April’s fiction contains end-of-the-world parties, deadly basements, magic fiddles, and more. To find out all the details, check below the cut.
“The Ugly Woman of Castello Di Putti”
Written by Alyx Dellamonica
Illustration by Richard Anderson
Returning to the world of Stormwrack where she set the tor.com story “Among the Silvering Herd,” A.M. Dellamonica offers a new story that takes us deeper into this fascinating world, the site of her new fantasy novel Child of a Hidden Sea. The Fleet, integral to the governing of a world that is mostly water sprinkled with a number of islands, must deal with a unique form of magic, Inscribing, which is so subtle that its effects can sometimes only be known in retrospect. When a ship of the fleet visits an island where scripping is common, the crew members of the sailing vessel Nightjar are at a disadvantage when faced with local matters of which they know little or nothing at all. Strangers on the shore, indeed, they may enjoy the local customs… but also may attract unwonted attention that could cost them more than embarrassment or money.
The Castello di Putti has a suggestive sound to it, but don’t be deceived. This is a story of civil strife, of culture shock, and ultimately of the risks and rewards of naval duty. Filled with Dellamonica’s fresh, inventive worldbuilding and the joie de vivre of a society in flux, it shows a side of Stormwrack very different from what she presented in the previous tale.
“Nothing to Fear”
Written by Eric Walters
Edited by Wes Adams
Illustration by Thom Tenery
“Nothing to Fear” is an episode inspired by The Rule of Three, the opening novel in Eric Walter’s trilogy of the same name about the terrifying challenges faced by an ordinary suburban kid, his family, and his neighbors, in the first days and weeks and months after a viral catastrophe causes the world to go dark. Sixteen-year-old Adam Daley is taking his girlfriend, Lori, on a picnic in his homemade ultralight aircraft—one of the few computer-free machines that still works. He wants to celebrate a surprise anniversary only he knows about (the first time he saw her at a junior high basketball game). But soon, this attempt at a normal date away from the fortified safety of their neighborhood feels increasingly risky. As their gripping misadventure unfolds, it is a reminder for Adam and Lori that there is nothing in particular for them to be afraid of, because in their world there is everything to fear.
“I Can See Right Through You”
Written by Kelly Link
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Illustration by Gérard Dubois
“I Can See Right Through You,” by Kelly Link, is an off-kilter ghost story (or not) about an estranged couple who have remained friends long after they were originally paired in a vampire movie that made them famous. Now the demon lover searches out his former lover in Florida while she is in the middle of filming a TV episode about ghost hunting.
Written by Lindsay Smith
Edited by Kate Jacobs
Illustration by Jeffrey Alan Love
Told in a series of espionage transmissions, “Doppel” is the story of a British agent in occupied France. When he meets a charismatic SS officer who seems to be guarding a great and powerful secret, he must decide whether to abandon his mission and discover what the Nazi is planning. But the truth might be darker and more dangerous than anything the British—or the Germans—can imagine.
Written by Elizabeth Fama
Edited by Simon Broughton and Zoey Peresman
Illustration by Robert Hunt
Because of a quirk of history during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, present-day America is rigidly divided between people who live and work during the hours of darkness—Smudges—and those known as Rays, who populate the day. A group of Smudges called the Noma live on the fringes of society in loose tribes, preying on Smudges and Rays alike. Gigi is a ruthless Noma, but in this prequel companion story to Plus One, she is ordered to abduct a cell phone hacker named Ciel Le Coeur and reveals a surprisingly tender heart.
Written by Daniel José Older
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird
Illustration by Goñi Montes
Reza’s job has put her in the face of every kind of death. Thanks to her guns, her car, and her dapper style, she came through the Bad Years alive, but since losing Angie things haven’t been right. Tonight’s job threatens to bring the worst terrors of that time skittering back to life. A new urban fantasy story with more than a touch of horror from rising star Daniel José Older.
“The Devil in America”
Written by Kai Ashante Wilson
Edited by Ann VanderMeer
Illustration by Richie Pope
Scant years after the Civil War, a mysterious family confronts the legacy that has pursued them across centuries, out of slavery, and finally to the idyllic peace of the town of Rosetree. The shattering consequences of this confrontation echo backwards and forwards in time, even to the present day.
“Something Going Around”
Written by Harry Turtledove
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Illustration by Greg Ruth
From the Hugo-winning, bestselling author of The Guns of the South, a tale of love, parasitism, and loss.
“What Mario Scietto Says”
Written by Emmy Laybourne
Edited by Holly West
Despite all his disaster planning, and the bomb shelter he built under his shed, Mario Scietto was not prepared for the apocalypse that hit Monument, Colorado. A series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a terrible chemical weapons spill that affects people differently depending on blood type, has torn the world as he knows it apart. “What Mario Says” is set in the world of Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14. The final book in the series, Monument 14: Savage Drift, goes on sale May 6th.
“The End of the End of Everything”
Written by Dale Bailey
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Illustration by Victo Ngai
“The End of the End of Everything,” by Dale Bailey, is an sf/horror story about a long-married couple invited by an old friend to an exclusive artist’s colony. The inhabitants of the colony indulge in suicide parties as the world teeters on the brink of extinction, worn away by some weird entropy.
Written by Leigh Bardugo
Edited by Noa Wheeler
In this third Ravkan folk tale from Leigh Bardugo, a beautiful girl finds that what her father wants for her and what she wants for herself are two different things. It is a companion story to the third book of the Grisha Trilogy, Ruin and Rising, and the stories “The Witch of Duva” and “The Too-Clever Fox.”
“Among the Thorns”
Written by Veronica Schanoes
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Illustration by Anna and Elena Balbusso
“Among the Thorns” by Nebula-nominated author Veronica Schanoes is a dark fantasy taking place in seventeenth century Germany, about a young woman who is intent on avenging the brutal murder of her peddler father many years earlier, by a vagabond with a magic fiddle.