Ok! The last four weeks of holidays and holiday recovery have devastated my regular routines and habits, and nascent ones such as my daily story recommendations on Mastodon and Weekly Roundups here took the biggest hits. Time to get back on track though. I did make 4 recommendations since 2018 started and I’m throwing in one old favorite here to bring it up to 5 stories I’ve enjoyed and want to share with you.
As always, you can find a list of all previous roundups, and the featured authors of said roundups, here.
This was the first short story I read in 2018 and I truly couldn’t imagine a better story to kick off a new year with. It’s a perfect January story. Especially if, like me, you’re feeling a little lost, maybe a little down looking back and forward and not 100% comfortable with it all. It also has the most wonderfully creepy, weird creature creation I’ve read in a long time.
This is one of those stories I often like (when done well) which feels like it could have been written in a different era, which suits an issue dedicated to “Ahistorical Blackness”. The POV character recounts to us strange things he witnessed while helping build the White House, but in truth it’s a story about just how far people will go to be free, done with a nicely light touch.
Another fantastic historical-feeling piece, this one is set in a second world fantasy with a Renaissance Florence flavour. It is largely about the relationship between a Duke’s right hand man and the Duke’s powerful, mystical mistress. It spans years and I could easily see it as the basis of a limited run Prestige TV series. It would be a lot of fun to fantasy cast such a thing.
This one is for anyone looking for a quick read (it’s flash length) and/or something deliciously (I might be a terrible person for using that word, but I’m going with it) creepy. Beware! Contains spooky kid!
My “bonus” recommendation is one of my favorite short story writers in one of my favorite magazines, published back in 2016. A wonderful new fairy tale (Originally it was published in The Starlit Wood: New Fair Tales) that really feels like the collision of two fairy tales and what happens when the two women trapped by their magical rules meet, and get to spend some time together.
*Edited to more accurately describe the setting of “The Little Duchess” by Julia August, who was kind enough to answer my question about it.