Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Folklore || "Ballroom Blitz" by Veronica Schanoes is a contemporary fairy tale about a young man, who with his eleven brothers, have been cursed to remain in a rock club for their bad behavior. Their only shot at freedom might be the twelve sisters who one day enter the club.
“The Walk,” by Dennis Etchison, is a neat little horror story about the dog eat dog world of Hollywood in which a director and writer have very different ideas of how their collaboration should proceed.
Dark Fantasy, Fantasy || "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.
Historical, Science Fiction || In honor of Tor.com's sixth birthday, please enjoy this original rocket story. "A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star", by Kathleen Ann Goonan, is about the daughter of a rocket scientist in the post 1950s who wants to go to the moon, despite being discouraged because "girls don't do that." A novelette that's science fiction by association.
Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic, Horror || "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.
Dark Fantasy, Fantasy || "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.
Dark Fantasy, Fantasy || "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.