Stories read this week are from Vylar Kaftan, Aliette de Bodard, Sunny Moraine, Karen Joy Fowler, Amy McLane, Rachel Swirsky, and Brit Mandelo.
"Galatea" by Vylar Kaftan, Heliotrope Magazine, Issue Five, 2009
I didn't realize the age of this story until I finished (I sometimes go through my bookmarks of online magazines looking for things to read). A lovingly creepy tale, the loss of body parts rendered so easily into the flow, as if it's an every day thing.
"The Weight of a Blessing" by Aliette de Bodard, Clarkesworld, March 2013
De Bodard's short fiction keeps coming up on my radar frequently, and she never disappoints. A heart-wrenching story of family, assimilation, and race, drawing from themes of war and displacement.
"The Horse Latitudes" by Sunny Moraine, Ideomancer, March 1, 2013
The more I read of Sunny Moraine, the more I like their style. This story is equal "best of" for the week, with a lot of personal resonance. The climactic scene involves an earthquake and tsunami, and I felt physical pain reading the description of the disaster. Other readers who may have not had my sort of experience may not feel the same, but the scenes are rendered in such a way that they are respectful as well as well crafted.
"Lily Red" by Karen Joy Fowler, Lightspeed, March 2013 (reprint, 1998)
Fowler writes in such a way that the fantastic seems mundane, a real occurance in everyday life. The lines between her worlds are blurred. It takes a while to find the fantastical in the story; finding it is like unfolding a mystery.
"The Small Print" by Amy McLane, Daily Science Fiction, February 26th, 2013
I did not like this story. A worn out trope of a woman's innocence lost, of selling herself (this time her memories), with an even more worn out trope of men using that innocence for sexual gratification. Icky and creepy. Disappointed these types of stories still get churned out and lauded.
"If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" by Rachel Swirsky, Apex Magazine, March 5, 2013
Swirsky hits a home run again with her signature heart wrenching style. What starts out as a fun, poetic romp ends up tragic. Short and stunning.
"The Finite Canvas" by Brit Mandelo, Tor.com, December 5, 2013
This is the first of Mandelo's fiction that I've read, though I have enjoyed her editorial, essay, and academic work. Good characterization with two women showing strength in different ways and capacities. Great world building woven into the fabric of the story with effortless flow.