Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris

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Fiction

Fantasy

The Blood of a Dragon

The moment Erm Kaslo’s flesh touched the substance of the entity, he understood everything — but only for that moment. Then it turned out that everything was far, far too much for a human brain to take in all at once. He felt as if his skull was straining not to burst its seams, and as if the mind it housed was a thimble into which someone had crammed a barrel’s worth of knowledge. Just sorting all the information into gross categories would be the work of several lifetimes; subdividing it into manageable portions would take millennia.

Science Fiction

Ghosts of the Fall

A warm current rolled in overnight, bringing with it the stench of death. When I awoke at dawn, my nose and mouth were thick with foul-tasting mucus. Gagging, I rolled over and reached for my stained filtermask. When it was in place, I struggled from my hammock and squinted from the arbour of my room. The sun, eclipsed by the shadowy bulk of a vine-tangled building, was feeble and brown, but enough of its light filtered between the towers to allow a rough study.

Fantasy

Breaking the Spell

There’s this legend your father tells you. It’s about a girl who sleeps in the center of a sphere. She floats in the air, tossed above the waves, destined to remain fast asleep until awakened by a kiss. You laugh when your father tells this story. You’ve heard all the stories before. Most of these stories involve handsome princes on white chargers. You’re not a prince, and you don’t have a white charger.

Science Fiction

The Myth of Rain

Female spotted owls have a call that doesn’t sound like it should come from a bird of prey. It’s high-pitched and unrealistic, like a squeaky toy that’s being squeezed just a little bit too hard. Lots of people who hear them in the woods don’t even realize that they’ve heard an owl. They assume it’s a bug, or a dog running wild through the evergreens, beloved chewy bone clenched tightly in its jaws.

Fantasy

Mouth

When Ann was only five years old, she took her brother’s mouth. He’d been sleeping, or crying, it’s hard for Ann to remember now, but she remembers the way her hand stung as it came full against his cheek, and the rattle his teeth made as his mouth flew off his face and hit the side of his crib. She thought about putting it back, but he was quiet again (yes, he must have been crying, why else would she have slapped him?) and so she picked up his once-familiar mouth with the sleeve of her nightgown and stuck it in her jewelry box.

Science Fiction

Goodnight Earth

Karron leaned over the rail of her boat, the Tarik, and watched the meteor shower from its reflection in the river below. The bright streaks of light looked like underwater fireflies and the Ring more like a soft blue disk, a monochromatic rainbow that ruled their lives in constant reminder of how broken the world was. “Water, water, everywhere,” she murmured to herself.

Fantasy

Sun’s East, Moon’s West

I shot the sparrow because I was starving. Though truthfully, I was aiming at a pheasant; the silver snow and the silver birches played tricks with the light, and as if by magic, pheasant turned into sparrow. When I saw what my arrow had done, I cried with empty eyes, too dry to make tears.

Science Fiction

Time Bomb Time

-pop- The sharp scent of ozone — sudden like heartbreak, raw as a panic attack — filled Hannah’s dorm room, from the paper-swamped desk across her rumpled bed to the window overlooking the quad. The lights flickered. Her heart skipped a beat. “God damn it.” She prodded Nolon’s foot with the toe of her shoe. She wanted […]

Fantasy

The Ministry of the Eye

Mornings were queues and cigarettes. Queues for the underground turnstiles and queues for the train, queues for stale bagels and queues for lukewarm coffee at the kiosk outside the station. By the time he queued up at the west gate of the pit, Alexander Gerst — tall and grizzled at forty-five, slope-shouldered and running slowly to fat — was lucky if he wasn’t already halfway through his daily ration of tobacco.

Science Fiction

The Birds and the Bees and the Gasoline Trees

Stephanie Ilogu knew the Southern Ocean was supposed to be cold. Lars had been battling to cool the ocean since Stephanie was seven years old. If my teeth chatter, I’m disrespecting my husband’s success. Maybe I wouldn’t think so much about my numb feet and face, or the dank sogginess leaking into my hair through my watch cap, or how much cold air leaks in under this huge parka, if I had something to do besides listen to my husband and his ex-wife make history together.