New Tor.com Original Fiction in January and February

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 stories in January and February by Daniel José Older, Peter Orullian, Ray Wood, and more.

January and February’s fiction contains insect aviators, quantum pistols, and trunks of thorns.

 

January 6
“Kia & Gio”
Written by Daniel José Older
Illustration by Goni Montes
Edited by Liz Gorinsky

Kia’s a week shy of her seventeenth birthday, which is about how old her cousin Gio was six years ago when he just up and went away. Kia’s a little bit in love with Giovanni (and who wasn’t, really?) but she hasn’t thought about him this much since the day he disappeared. It’s not until a run-of-the-mill work shift at Baba Eddie’s botánica goes awry that she begins to understand why he’s on her mind…

 

January 7
“A Beautiful Accident”
Written by Peter Orullian
Illustration by Tommy Arnold
Edited by Claire Eddy

In a culture where ritualized torture is used to teach its people strength through long-suffering, a foreign sufferer unintentionally teaches them something stronger… something gentler.

 

January 14
“And the Burned Moths Remain”
Written by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Illustration by Jeffrey Alan Love
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird

The shape of treason is a trunk of thorns, and Jingfei climbs knowing forgiveness waits at the zenith. But for the traitorous Record of Tiansong, who let their planet burn under the guns of the Hegemony, a second treason may be the only escape from their eternal prison.

 

January 21
“Damage”
Written by David D. Levine
Illustration by Victor Mosquera
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

In the extremities of war, we may know what we’ve been, but not what we will become. “Damage” is a tale of desperate times, desperate measures, and the inner life of a fighter spacecraft.

 

January 28
“Useless Wings”
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Illustration by Dominick Saponaro
Edited by Connie Hsu

In this prequel to Tin Star, we meet Heckleck, the Hort alien who befriends Tula Bane on the space station Yertina Feray in her fight for survival. In his modest beginnings, Heckleck is raised to understand that breeding and propagating his own kind is the sole reason for living. When he is called upon to settle on a new planet, he meets the daughter of a politician, Goglu, with whom he falls helplessly in love, and is determined to win over. But nothing is easy in love and space exploration, and when his plans become thwarted, he must find a new way of life.

 

February 3
“The Human Engineer”
Written by Jessica Brody
Illustration by Goni Montes
Edited by Janine O’Malley

Ever since Diotech Corporation released the first artificial womb—a safe and convenient new way to birth human babies— controversy for the cutting-edge product has risen as swiftly as the demand. For Rickar Hallix, however, the biomedical engineer who invented the womb, life has become steadily worse. When Rickar stumbles upon a possible defect in the latest batch of product, he suddenly finds himself thrust into the center of the endless, cut-throat battle between corporate greed and the security of human life.

 

February 4
“The Language of Knives”
Written by Haralambi Markov
Edited by Ann VanderMeer

The Language of Knives by Haralambi Markov is about the death rituals of this secondary world. A strong-willed daughter is guided by the her unloved parent in the customs of how to respect the remains of her favorite parent.

 

February 12
“Acrobatic Duality”
Written by Tamara Vardomskaya
Illustration by Ashley Mackenzie
Edited by Ann VanderMeer

A new original story by Tamara Vardomskaya.

 

 

 

February 18
“Schrödinger’s Gun”
Written by Ray Wood
Illustration by Richie Pope
Edited by Carl Engle-Laird

Of all the crime scenes in all the timelines in all the multiverse, Detective O’Harren walks into the basement on West 21st. In every possible universe, Johnny Rivers is dead. But the questions that need answering—who killed him and why—are still a matter of uncertainty.

 

February 25
“The Hell of It”
Written by Peter Orullian
Illustration by Tommy Arnold
Edited by Claire Eddy

Some heroes don’t carry blades or go to war. Some heroes are fathers desperately trying not to fail their sons.

 

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