Weekly Fiction Rec Roundup 5

I’m coming in a day later than usual and with only 5 stories this time, but it is time for another roundup of fiction I’ve recently read and liked enough to share on my Mastodon feed. I think there’s an interesting selection here with a series of styles that range from feeling like they could have come from a different era (the 2nd and last story) to the thoroughly modern (like the first story). As usual there’s a fair bit of weird and creepy and unsettling, but not only that. And, as usual I think there’s hope to be found here too.

“Which Super Little Dead Girl™ Are You? Take Our Quiz” by Nino Cipri from Nightmare Magazine #63

This story is exactly what it sounds like, using the form of those omnipresent ‘Which _____ are you?’ quizzes. I love short stories that play with format and this one does it with creepy, disturbing fun (or maybe “fun”?).

“The Whalebone Parrot” by Darcie Little Badger from Issue 29 of The Dark

It’s a kind of ghost story (perhaps?) with an older feeling style done well. I was reminded reading this of the way I often feel reading a Shirley Jackson story: like entering a room where everything feels off by just a bit, but you’re not completely sure why. If that is your thing, I think you’ll appreciate this as much as I did.

“Seeds” by Margaret Wack from Strange Horizons, April 2017

This is a piece of flash about the end of the world and how legends grow from history that really nails the ending (of the story, not the world) the way a good piece of flash *must* nail an ending. If you only have time for a quick read this is a great one. It’ll be more powerful for those who know a certain non-fiction fact, but I won’t say what that is, as I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.

“Shadow Man, Sack Man, Half Dark, Half Light” by Malon Edwards from PodCastle #495

Malon Edwards is an author I always love to see a new story from. I’m a fan of his stories and their often gritty, cyberpunkish aesthetics. Here he gives us a machete wielding girl with a clockwork heart confronting monsters on the streets of a grim fantasy (?) Chicago (specifically ‘La Petite Haïti Chicago’). Good stuff.

“Low Bridge! or The Dark Obstructions” by M. Bennardo from Beneath Ceaseless Skies #240

This story has a much different tone than many I put out there, but I found it an enjoyable read, in particular to see a truly well-deserved, if not too serious, comeuppance visited upon a complete jerk of a character. Sometimes it’s nice to read stories that aren’t about apocalypses, empires, and monsters. Sometimes the stakes are much smaller, like a character who simply wants to enjoy a honeymoon trip. But there are things many of us (in this particular case, men especially) can learn in a such a story.

That’s it for this week. If you’d like to find links to all the weekly roundups you I have a page here for just that.

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