Tor.com content by

Marissa K. Lingen

Fiction and Excerpts [3]
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Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Points of Origin

, || Most people who have reached their eighties without raising children have every right to believe that they will go on not raising them, and Judith and I were no different until the day they turned up with the social worker, neatly scrubbed and pressed inside their vac-suits and carrying cases with all their remaining worldly possessions. There were three of them like stairsteps, their black hair cut in fringes across their foreheads and their dark eyes shining out disconcertingly familiar at me. But it wasn’t until the social worker said, “Mr. Chao and Ms. Goldstein, these are your grandchildren, Enid, Richard, and Harry,” that I remembered, sheepishly, about the genes we had given all those years ago, to that nice couple from New New Prague, before they left for the Oort Cloud.

Beyond Cinderella: Exploring Agency Through Domestic Fantasy

“Cinderella” is the story that taught most of us how to view domestic chores for fantasy protagonists—namely, as a trap to escape on the road to their hero’s journey. Everyone needs clean clothes and something to eat. Children need to be watched, the sick not only dramatically healed but mundanely and conscientiously cared for, but for most fantasy novels, that’s a background process—support work for the questing party, nothing you can expect protagonists to do for themselves.

And then there’s domestic fantasy. The scope and the focus of domestic fantasy is often described as smaller than epic quest fantasy (note: these are not, of course, the only two sub-genres!), but more crucially, it’s also broader. It allows for a wider range of skills to be important, and a wider set of sources of agency through which characters can make an important difference in their worlds, by reexamining which changes and actions can be counted as important in the first place.

[Here are some of the best examples…]

Points of Origin

Most people who have reached their eighties without raising children have every right to believe that they will go on not raising them, and Judith and I were no different until the day they turned up with the social worker, neatly scrubbed and pressed inside their vac-suits and carrying cases with all their remaining worldly possessions. There were three of them like stairsteps, their black hair cut in fringes across their foreheads and their dark eyes shining out disconcertingly familiar at me. But it wasn’t until the social worker said, “Mr. Chao and Ms. Goldstein, these are your grandchildren, Enid, Richard, and Harry,” that I remembered, sheepishly, about the genes we had given all those years ago, to that nice couple from New New Prague, before they left for the Oort Cloud.

[Read “Points or Origin” by Marissa Lingen]

Uncle Flower’s Homecoming Waltz

Presenting a new original story, “Uncle Flower’s Homecoming Waltz,“ by author Marissa K. Lingen, a tale in which children and adults must be taught how to daydream properly; a respite against the never-ending war that rages around them.

This story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Tor Books editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

My grandmother says all stories begin with a death. My grandfather says with a birth. And Aunt Albert says they’re both wrong, and stories begin with someone not getting what they want.

But no one was born, and no one died, and I got what I wanted, and that is where this story begins.

[Continue reading “Uncle Flower’s Homecoming Waltz”]

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