New Tor.com Original Fiction in August and September

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 August and September by Jo Walton, Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, and more.

August and September’s fiction contains selfies of a sinister variety, kappas who want to be friendly, rigid airships, and much more. To find out all the details, check below the cut.

 

August 6
“In the Sight of Akresa”
Written by Ray Wood
Illustration by Karla Ortiz
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird

Claire’s lover has no tongue. A slave liberated from a heathen temple, Aya cannot tell the story of her stolen voice, or of her and Claire’s unfolding love. She cannot speak her pain, her joy, or her sorrow. And if she sees that which eludes the blind goddess of justice, she cannot bear witness. “In the Sight of Akresa” is a tragic fantasy romance from debut author Ray Wood.

 

August 12
“Sleeper”
Written by Jo Walton
Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

History is a thing we make—in more senses than one. And from more directions.

 

 

La Signora Bruce McAllister Ellen Datlow Tran NguyenAugust 13
“La Signora”
Written by Bruce McAllister
Illustration by Tran Nguyen
Edited by Ellen Datlow

“La Signora,” by Bruce McAllister, is a dark fantasy about a teenage American living in an ancient Italian fishing village with his parents. He’s invited by his friends to go night-fishing on one special night, and although he knows his parents would disapprove, he goes anyway.

 

August 20Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Scott Bakal
“Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land”
Written by Ruthanna Emrys
Illustration by Scott Bakal
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird

Tikanu, land of laws and patterns, magic and wild mint, is not found behind hidden doors. It passes across borders and takes root wherever its people settle. This collection of seven commentaries reveals a world waiting patiently at the edges of vision, that welcomes all who are willing to do the work of building it.

 

August 26
“Strongest Conjuration”
Written by Skyler White
Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

A tale of the Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people, with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about just how to accomplish this is older than most of their individual memories. They first appeared in the 2013 novel The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White; subsequently, Tor.com published an Incrementalists story by Brust, “Fireworks in the Rain.” “Strongest Conjuration” takes place directly after the events of the novel.

 

August 27
“A Cup of Salt Tears”
Written by Isabel Yap
Illustration by Victo Ngai
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird

Makino’s mother taught her the words to say, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone can sacrifice for another.

 

September 3
“Headache”
Written by Julio Cortázar
Translated by Michael Cisco
Edited by Ann VanderMeer
Upcoming artwork by Dave McKean

Originally published in Spanish as “Cefalea” in the late Julio Cortázar’s 1951 collection Bestiario, this story has never before been presented in English. Inspired by Cortázar’s sickly childhood, “Headache” introduces us to the mancuspias: fantastical creatures who must be maintained on a very specific schedule.

 

September 9
“Tuckitor’s Last Swim”
Written by Edith Cohn
Illustration by Michael Manomivibul
Edited by Susan Dobinick

Tuckitor Hatterask had a fierce desire to go for a swim, even though a storm was brewing and he knew it wasn’t a good idea to go into the water. But the forces pulling him toward the ocean were much stronger than he ever could had imagined. In this companion short story to Spirit’s Key, Edith Cohn’s debut novel, readers learn how a family on a small southern island came to be haunted by hurricanes.

 

September 10
“As Good as New”
Written by Charlie Jane Anders
Illustration by Yuko Shimizu
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

From the author of the Hugo-winning “Six Months, Three Days,” a new wrinkle on the old story of three wishes, set after the end of the world.

 

 

September 17
“Selfies”
Written by Lavie Tidhar
Illustration by Greg Ruth
Edited by Ellen Datlow

“Selfies,” by Lavie Tidhar, is a creepy little horror tale about the fate of a young woman who makes the mistake of a lifetime when she buys a new phone in the local mall.

 

September 23
“The Golden Apple of Shangri-La”
Written by David Barnett
Illustration by Nekro
Edited by Claire Eddy

Another story from the world of David Barnett’s Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl.

 

 

 

September 24
“Midway Relics and Dying Breeds”
Written by Seanan McGuire
Illustration by Theo Prins
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

A tale of bioengineering, a carnival, and the cost of finding one’s right place.

 

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