New Tor.com Original Fiction in May and June

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 May and June by John Scalzi, Genevieve Valentine, Stephen Graham Jones, and more.

May and June’s fiction contains insect tattoos, Cthulhu and assorted Outer Gods, Zombies, shadow puppetry, and more. To find out all the details, check below the cut.

May 6
“The Madonna of the Abattoir”
Written by Anne Pillsworth
Edited by Miriam Weinberg
Illustration by Sam Wolfe Connelly

In Victorian-era Arkham, Redemption Orne observes that art is indeed long and life only too short when a painter chooses Orne’s wife Patience, mistress of the Outer Gods, for his model.

 

May 7
“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.

 

May 13
“Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome”
Written by John Scalzi
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Illustration by Richie Pope

A new near-future science fiction novella by John Scalzi, one of the most popular authors in modern SF. “Unlocked” traces the medical history behind a virus that will sweep the globe and affect the majority of the world’s population, setting the stage for Lock In, the next major novel by John Scalzi.

 

May 14
“The Litany of Earth”
Written by Ruthanna Emrys
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird
Illustration by Allen Williams

The state took Aphra away from Innsmouth. They took her history, her home, her family, her god. They tried to take the sea. Now, years later, when she is just beginning to rebuild a life, an agent of that government intrudes on her life again, with an offer she wishes she could refuse. “The Litany of Earth” is a dark fantasy story inspired by the Lovecraft mythos.

 

May 20
“Island in a Sea of Stars”
Written by Kevin J. Anderson
Edited by Pat Lo Brutto
Illustration by Stephen Youll

An adventure from The Saga of Shadows: The Dark Between the Stars.

 

 

 

May 27
“Friends ’Til the End”
Written by Bethany Neal
Edited by Janine O’Malley
Illustration by Ashley Mackenzie

In “Friends ’Til the End,” death isn’t the end for Emily Winstead, not even close. She died with a wrong to make right, and she’s been given a second chance to set things straight. The only problem: her memories are hazy, she doesn’t know who to trust or even why she’s back, but she does know something about how she died broke the course of fate and it’s her ghostly mission to mend it.

 

May 28
“The Insects of Love”
Written by Genevieve Valentine
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Illustration by Tran Nguyen

“The Insects of Love,” by Genevieve Valentine, is a dream-like science fiction/fantasy puzzle about two sisters and several possible realities. The only certainty is that one sister gets a tattoo and disappears into the desert. The surviving sister is obsessed with insects and believes her sister has left her clues as to her disappearance.

 

June 4
“The Walking-Stick Forest”
Written by Anna Tambour
Edited by Ellen Datlow

“The Walking-Stick Forest,” by Anna Tambour, is a dark fantasy about a recluse who creates collectible walking sticks in post WWI Scotland by manipulating the woods somewhat like bonsais. He refuses a commission from a very rich, powerful man, never considering or caring about the consequences.

 

June 11
“Chapter Six”
Written by Stephen Graham Jones
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Illustration by David Palumbo

“Chapter Six,” by Stephen Graham Jones, is an anthropological zombie story about Crain, a grad student, who has a theory of mankind’s evolution. As he and his former professor scavenge on bone marrow left behind by the local zombie horde, he makes his well-reasoned argument.

 

June 18
“Combustion Hour”
Written by Yoon Ha Lee
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Illustration by Jeffrey Alan Love

A new original short story by the author of Conservation of Shadows.

 

 

 

June 25
“The Color of Paradox”
Written by A. M. Dellamonica
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Illustration by Jeffrey Alan Love

“The Color of Paradox,” by A.M. Dellamonica, is a science fiction story about one of a series of time travelers sent back to the past in order to buy more time for the human race, which in the future is on the verge of extinction.

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