The one good thing about January lasting for approximately 78 days was that there were plenty of good stories to read, and more than a few good books. I’m giving you the highlights, because stories don’t go bad and there’s still time! Read good things.
First up is “More Tomorrow” by Premee Mohamed, published by Escape Pod. I’m a sucker for a left-behind diary story, as always. But this one got my attention right away because of the protagonist’s scrappy fuck-you voice. The truth about where they are and the science they’re doing is slowly revealed, and I found myself absolutely lost in it. I got out of my car and finished reading it in my driveway. That good.
Next up: I’m also a sucker for stories I’ve read a million times told from a perspective I’ve never gotten to hear from before. Uncanny published Rae Carson’s “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” and it’s exactly one of those. I’ve read a lot of zombie stories where there’s a tragic pregnant person and they’re 1. fucking doomed folks, don’t act like you don’t know it and 2. never the one leading the party or telling the story. Watch Carson turn all that on its head.
Tor published “As the Last I May Know” by S.L. Huang back in October, but I didn’t read it until I saw this thread. The author explains it better than I ever could, but this story was written after a visit to the atomic bomb museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It hits hard.
Effie Seiberg is a delightful writer who can turn some very old tropes into a very new story. Behold a millennial Rumplestiltskin that will help you laugh at that never-diminishing number you see on MyGreatLakes. Brought to you by Cast of Wonders.
“Tiny Teeth” by Sarah Hans is from 2019, and published by Pseudopod. I found it because Nalo Hopkinson tweeted in search of reproductive futurities by lesser-known writers. Hans writes about the oldest, deepest, weirdest anxieties folks have about pregnancy in a terrifying and visceral way. It grabbed me, and I read this kind of thing all the time. I wish it was the first chapter of a novel.
In books this month, I read “Wilder Girls” by Rory Power. I found it raw and gruesome, delightfully queer, frustrating and engrossing. I read the whole book in one sitting, because I couldn’t stop. If you haven’t read it, maybe you should. It made the Locus list this year, along with a lot of other great choices.