Reviews, Short Fiction Roundups

9 strange & captivating science fiction & fantasy short stories


“Read intensely”, Ray Bradbury said once upon a time, and I’m trying to take his advice to heart. Here are 9 stories, published online, that caught my eye and interest the past few weeks.

Tom, Thom, by K. M. Ferebee, at This short story about war, loss, wolves and not-wolves, brothers and not-brothers, and about the strange tales we tell children about the woods, is a dark and shiny gem. It’s so good I’d wager it’ll win awards of some kind somewhere down the line. Read it immediately.

Breaking Water, by Indrapramit Das, at A unique zombie story that isn’t really a zombie story, that’s what this is. Krishna and his dead wife walk away from the river. Later they get married.

Sing Me Your Scars, by Damien Angelica Walters at Apex Magazine. “I have no wish to die again, and neither do the others”. Strange, creepy as heck, gruesome, and compelling: this  terrific short story had me thinking of a certain Adventure Time-episode with the Ice King… and there is definitely nothing wrong with that.

iTime, by DM Gillis at Altered Instinct / Inkling Press. Want to read about time travel, aging, the evils of Steve Jobs, and the amazing stuff that might be written down on Burger King napkins? Of course you do. Also, this funny and rather trippy short story is set in Vancouver, which is always a good thing.

Between Dragons and Their Wrath, by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky at Clarkesworld. “This is a world with only two things in it: the ones which change, and the ones which linger on. I was one of the things that changed.” Like in a fever dream, or a vision, the landscape and the people in this short story shift and change as you read it. I won’t even attempt to tell you what it’s about, exactly, just that it is definitely worth reading.

Inspirations, by Seanan McGuire at Nightmare Magazine. Where does your inspiration come from? McGuire’s answer in this short story comes with a twist of horror, a twist of dark fantasy, and a twist of mythology, making for an unusual and thought-provoking tale.

The Bone Swans of Amandale, by C.S.E. Cooney at Mythic Delirium. This fantastic novella is taken from Cooney’s short story collection ‘Bone Swans’. It’s a dark, bloody, twisted, and weirdly enchanting tale of swan people, terrible magic, and a very special Rat.

Another Beginning, by Michael McGlade at Shimmer. McGlade’s short story has been stuck in my head since I read it a couple of weeks ago. Not that I mind. There’s a magpie (there really aren’t enough literary magpies), a vision of the afterlife, thoughts of revenge, and maybe (just maybe) a glimmer of redemption.

Red Mask, by Jessica May Lin at Shimmer. I read this just before bedtime last night, and I blame any and all strange dreams I had on Lin’s tale. A ghost story set in a future New China, this short story features a beautifully described friendship, a serial killer, and a gruesome but profitable business idea…

More great short fiction:



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