Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Pledge Day

“Never be ashamed of who you are or where you came from,” Luke’s dad said every so often, and he meant it, but what he really meant was never let anyone talk down about the Founder, and never hide the fact that they were one of the Founder’s earliest Verified Families. Maybe not the richest, not by a long shot, but one of the first to make the choice. He said it more often as the time approached for Luke’s Hiatus, when Luke would probably do what his friends all did: Go sit in the woods for a week or do some fake-ass charity work, pretend it was a sobering and contemplative experience.

Latest Fantasy Story

One Day in the Afterlife of Detective Roshni Chaddha

It all started with a desperate phone call from a Yamaduta. Doesn’t it always? The new recruits are the worst. Madhav should have stuck to cleaning the Vaitarna River. It attracts debris from all the worlds. But someone had decided he deserved a promotion and transferred him to the most demanding unit of all: the Yamadutas, tasked with escorting the souls of the dead from the human world to the afterlife. Why they thought picking up trash was the same as picking up souls is beyond me. He sat opposite me in my airless office above Auntie Nimmi’s curry shop.

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Latest Nonfiction

Book Review: To Shape a Dragon’s Breath, by Moniquill Blackgoose

This month, Aigner Loren Wilson sinks her teeth into a smoking hot new fantasy novel: To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose. Find out why you might like it, too!

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Last Stand of the E. 12th St. Pirates

STAND BACK DOORS CLOSING. Dee heard the musical bing-bong of the departure warning between song transitions in her headphones, and watched as the heads of workers in line ahead of her lolled back in the universal why, God gesture of commuters everywhere. There was only one freight car down the wall into the Flood District, and it was shared by all bulk service providers who came bearing gifts: maintenance workers, solar installers, grocery and package delivery, and the like. A bing-bong meant another fifteen-minute wait.

Deathmatch

The cab slices through the city, one small fish of a humming black shoal, while Henrik watches ads in his rain-flecked window. Today he sees carnal red sociomachines, spine-mounted, that spray pheromones and calculate human interaction. A black-and-yellow swamp whirling through space. A man screaming no at the moment of orgasm. The product is not always clear, but the ads are always effective. He can feel money slivering off his account and slithering into the ether. The cab’s vestigial partition, now a slab of flickering smartglass, shows him that he has invested in a dozen new corporate splinters.

(available on 12/15) Buy Issue

The Spread of Space and Endless Devastation

This is the fifty-seventh time Ship has tried to stop Zander from entering the cellar. By now, Ship simply watches over the feed as the mission gets underway. Zander and the other members of their crew open the front door and marvel at the lack of dust, the trickle of the entry hall fountain. “It’s as if someone still lives here,” Kala says. As the crew’s historian, she is endlessly looking for ways to insert herself into the past. “Like they just stepped out and will come back any moment.” That’s from Eun-ja, who spends xir off-shifts watching holos.

(available on 12/22) Buy Issue

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To my daughter, in the dark of the moon

My daughter. Oh, my daughter! You are too young to understand, but I will tell you anyway: one day you will be a great hunter, you will be a great champion, and you will look around our village and you will wonder—is this everything? Is this the only glory left to me? Is this why my mother left, even before my seventh anno, towards the cursed spire from which there is no return? So now I tell you: Yes. That is why I left. That is why, in your own time, in your own manner, in the fullness of your power and the fullness of your guile, you will follow me.

The Metamorphosis of Marie Martin

This story is part of Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, the first climate-fiction contest from Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. Imagine 2200 asked writers to imagine the next 180 years of equitable climate progress, and the winning stories feature intersectional worlds in which no community is left behind. Read all 12 stories in the […]

(available on 12/15) Buy Issue

Mad Honey

The three wolves in the sun-smeared wood did not turn and run when Aran approached with his musket in hand. Wolves were supposed to run from men with guns. This was the way of the world. Sweat and necessity made his musket slide against his palms. He gripped tighter, not wanting to startle the beasts by bringing the musket to bear too quickly. Two of the beasts stood over the third, which reclined on its side in the patchy grass. He could count their rib-bones through their thin hides. His own hungry bones hummed in sympathy. But the world turned on toward frost and frozen ground, and necessity stilled the tremor in his chest.

(available on 12/22) Buy Issue