With all that happens around a person's 40th birthday, I somehow managed to find some time to read some excellent short fiction in March. The ones included below come from a variety of online magazines but I'm not going to pretend that this is an exhaustive list:
- Things Crumble, Things Break by Nate Southard. Liked this one quite a bit. Chemical spill or accident leaves a town of crippled, their bones so fragile a gentle push could stave in a chest. A man and his girlfriend contemplate leaving their quarantine even as a heavy sadness fills in all of the weak parts of their determination. The horror here is in the ease of emotional investment in fragile, doomed beings.
- In the Shade of the Pixie Tree by Rodello Santos (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) something about this reminds me of Lord Dunsany: a sweet but ultimately tragic tale of a young witch and the slow unwinding of a difficult spell. Fantasy that takes familiar tropes like pixies and witches and makes them new again will always win a place in my heart.
- You will always have family by Kathleen Kayembe (NSF). Excellent long form story about a deteriorating family transplanted into America. Sort of a Faulkner Gothic as if told by Junot Diaz in a very macabre mood.
Also, I got a nice surprise today in the mail - the physical copy of the anthology, "Book of Blasphemous Words," my story "Killing the First Gods," appeared in. If you're inclined to read a melancholy story of the dead gods of the Upper Paleolithic, this story and others included may be up your alley.