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The Perfection of Theresa Watkins

Justin C. Key's "The Perfection of Theresa Watkins" is a skillful speculative exploration of the intersection of race, mental illness, and the American prison system. Darius and Theresa Watkins confronted death once as fellow cancer survivors. Their lives are full and productive, their love a shield against Darius's bouts of anxiety and Theresa's occasional flare-ups. Yet when tragedy strikes, Darius will try everything to save his wife...even against his fears that she may have transformed into an entirely different person—literally.

Hearts in the Hard Ground

Following the death of her mother, Fiona buys a new house in order to start a new chapter of her life, one with fewer reminders of painful memories. Unbeknownst to Fiona, this house has a melancholy history, and slightly more ghosts than she anticipated. In learning to live with her unexpected companions and their losses, Fiona might find a way to make peace with her own.

Exile’s End

Exile's End is a complex, sometimes uncomfortable examination of artifact repatriation and cultural appropriation. An artifact of indescribable and irreplaceable beauty created by an "extinct" culture has been the basis of another culture's origin stories. The race who created the artifact has survived on a distant world and has sent a representative to reclaim it, throwing everything into question. Inspired by the SF camp in Danzhai, China, which is co-hosted by the Future Administration Authority (FAA) and Wanda Group.

The Necessary Arthur

Some days you find out that the world is nothing like what you think it is. An archaeologist named Tamara working near Hadrian’s Wall is approached by a very annoyed-looking, silver-haired woman with an incomprehensible message: The game is moving on, the time has come to play a hand, and Tamra is on point. Time to find the Necessary Arthur and get down to business!

The Ones Who Look

Ethical Empire built the gate to heaven, and their employees hold the keys. By offering custom-built afterlives through full-brain uploads, they answered the needs of a society pushed to the brink by climate change and cascading antibiotic failure. But for Zoe, who works daily to assess the sins of users and decide who's worthy of salvation, heaven is not so simple. Despite the urging of the angels on her shoulder, she is determined to uncover heaven's secrets, no matter the cost.

Two Truths and a Lie

Stella thought she’d made up a lie on the spot, asking her childhood friend if he remembered the strange public broadcast TV show with the unsettling host she and all the neighborhood kids appeared on years ago. But he does remember. And so does her mom. Why doesn’t Stella? The more she investigates the show and the grip it has on her hometown, the eerier the mystery grows.

Wild Cards on Tor.com

Berlin Is Never Berlin

For over 25 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. "Berlin is Never Berlin" by Marko Kloos draws upon the seedier side of the city, beyond the dance club lights and all-night parties, as one bodyguard with a certain feline distinction goes on the prowl....Khan only had one job: chauffeur and guard an American wealthy socialite and her friends. When his client Natalie Scuderi gets nabbed by the Georgian mafia, this joker-ace has no choice but to go underground and rescue her. "Losing the man’s daughter on the job would be a fatal black mark on his professional resume. Khan had never lost a client, and he wasn’t about to start a habit."

Wild Cards on Tor.com

The Visitor: Kill or Cure

For over 25 years, the Wild Cards universe has been entertaining readers with stories of superpowered people in an alternate history. The visitor comes... but she needs to be invited in. Ever since she woke up in the hospital with the ability to generate heat,  Ruby Johnson, a.k.a the Dragon, has built a reputation as an unstoppable force of nature. She makes her living as an assassin for hire, but one day she comes across a benevolent ace whose powers she vastly underestimates.

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