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[personal profile] helloladies
We're excited to reveal the results of our 2016 Q2-Q3 Short Fiction survey!

Check out the stories below. We included word count where available. For some stories the word counts are approximate because not all publishers provide them; corrections are welcome! Stories that must be purchased to read are marked with an asterisk, but we've linked to their home magazine or anthology page on Goodreads.

We'll be collecting short fiction recs for October through December until the 31st of December, after which we'll do another formal rec list, which will be posted in early January. Please share your favorite short fiction read during this time period. You can find our form at http://goo.gl/forms/pBnXAYLPM3. We'd appreciate any signal boosts so more folks who read short fiction can find us and participate.

We've also streamlined our form and added a question to the survey this round; it's optional, but we'd appreciate your feedback.

banner with border and text in the center saying short fiction survey


Happy reccing & reading!

Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
We had a small hiccup in service due to Life Shenanigans, but we're happy to finally reveal the results of our 2016 Q1 Short Fiction survey, featuring stories from January 2016 to March 2016.

Check out the stories below. For some stories the word counts are approximate because not all publishers provide them or it wasn't available; corrections and additions are welcome! Stories that must be purchased to read are marked with an asterisk, but we've linked to their home magazine or anthology page on Goodreads.

Since it's a been awhile, a reminder that we've decided to change things up in 2016 in order to include older short fiction. Also, the submission form will be open all year round and after submitting you'll be able to see the stories others have recced.

We'll be collecting short fiction recs for April through the 30th of September, after which we'll do another formal rec list! Please share your favorite short fiction read so far this year! You can find our form at http://goo.gl/forms/pBnXAYLPM3. We'd appreciate any signal boosts so more folks who read short fiction can find us and participate.

banner with border and text in the center saying short fiction survey


Happy reccing & reading!

Read more... )
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[personal profile] owlmoose
"Kid Dark Against the Machine", the new short story by Tansy Raynor Roberts, is the latest entry in Book Smugglers Publishing's season of superhero stories. It's available as an ebook as well as on the Book Smugglers blog

I can't even pretend to be objective about this story. It's got superheroes and reunion narratives, it plays with tropes and gender roles, and it's got Tansy Raynor Roberts, of whom I am a huge fangirl, mostly for her work on the Galactic Suburbia podcast -- my first foray into the world of fannish podcasting. But for all that I love Roberts as a commentator and fellow fan, I haven't spent much time reading her fiction. Happily, the one story of hers that I have previously read is "Cookie Cutter Superhero", her contribution to the (most excellent and highly recommended) anthology Kaleidoscope. This story is set in the same universe as Kid Dark and features a few of the same characters. I enjoyed "Cookie Cutter Superhero" a great deal, so when I learned there was a follow-up, I jumped on the chance to read it and spend a little more time in this fascinating world.

The underlying premise is that superheroes are real, their powers and identities chosen essentially by a lottery -- all over the world, there are machines that select one person to gain superpowers every six months, assigning them a codename and skill set. When a new hero is called, the machine selects an existing hero to retire, and they lose their powers. So anyone can be a hero, but only by the whims of fate, and there's no guarantee of how long it will last -- a few heroes only get one six-month term, while others remain active for decades. It makes for an interesting dynamic, both among the heroes (who, at least in Australia, where both stories are set, live and work together as a team) and the unpowered people.

"Cookie Cutter Superhero" focused on a teen girl who is called by the machine to become powered; "Kid Dark Against the Machine" takes us to the other side of the equation, and introduces us to a young man who was a hero in his youth but has since returned to live among the "mortals". In the good old days, he was Kid Dark, sidekick to a brooding crime fighter named The Dark (if you think this sounds familiar, that's clearly intentional). Now he's just a guy called Griff, doing odd jobs at a group home for children, reluctantly studying for his social work degree, and avoiding his past as much as possible. He thought he was out of that life forever, until one of the kids, a boy named Liam, reports that he's dreaming about another machine -- one that makes supervillians instead of heroes. And Griff is forced to do two things: ask an old teammate for help, and admit that he might miss being a superhero after all.

Cut for spoilers )

All in all, I can easily recommend this story to anyone who enjoys superheroes, coming of age, interesting world building, and/or men and women being friends. And now I'm off to explore the rest of Roberts's short fiction, which I'm sure will be a pleasurable journey.
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
We're happy to reveal the results of our 2015 Q4 Short Fiction survey, featuring stories from October 2015 to December 2015.

Check out the stories below. We included word count where available. For some stories the word counts are approximate because not all publishers provide them; corrections welcome! Stories that must be purchased to read are marked with an asterisk, but we've linked to their home magazine or anthology.

In 2016, we've decided to change things up in order to include older short fiction, as well. Additionally, the submission form will be open all year round and after submitting you'll be able to see the stories others have recced, too, so you can find new things to read immediately! We'll be refreshing the form at the end of each quarter and doing a compilation post to highlight the stories. You can find our new form at http://goo.gl/forms/pBnXAYLPM3. Happy reccing and reading!

Short Fiction Surveys


♥ Jodie & Renay




Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Last year, Renay co-edited a speculative nonfiction anthology and both Jodie and Renay made a decision to read more short fiction. It was only a matter of time until we combined our experiences! \o/

We decided it would be neat to imagine what an anthology of short fiction we loved would look like after our 2015 short fiction reading. We are, in some ways, non-traditional readers of short fiction, looking specifically toward marginalized writers, as well as for stories with a core of optimism.

We don't have the resources to create a tangible fiction anthology of our own (reprint or otherwise), but we decided to pretend. We don't have any rights to these stories and this is purely and 100% for fun. We're happy to bring you the favorite short fiction we both read in 2015, a pretend anthology/rec list we like to call "Seeking Brighter Horizons". We highly recommend all these stories!

Seeking Brighter Horizons: Cover Art and TOC )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies





Short Fiction Survey Banner


We're happy to announce the opening of our short fiction recommendation form for the fourth quarter of 2015! You can find the form at this link or click the banner above. Awards season is heating up, so if you have favorites from the end of the year you want to bring more attention to, we'd love to have them! Feel free to rec your favorites from October 1 to December 31. The form will be open until January 31, 2016.

Thanks to everyone who participated this year. Happy reccing!
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


When he got to the coast, the sun was setting, and the brightness blinded him. He drove down a rattling road to get to the sand. There were waves still, white and green and blue, and he made a sound he wasn’t expecting to make. He thought about red oceans and orange caverns.


Maria Dahvana Headley's "Solder and Seam" follows the journey of an alien revolutionary, living on a quietly post-apocalyptic Earth as a farmer, as he steers a wooden whale to the sea. It's a real weird story; part of the New Weird subgenre I adore, and yet became a little estranged from in 2015. Is it even called the New Weird anymore? I'm so out of touch.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


It's the end of the year as we know it. And just in case you're need a little help feeling fine, I thought I would point you to some fun SFF stories that might perk up the dark days.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
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We never would have believed, before the dead girls started climbing out of their refrigerators, that people could be literally resurrected by sheer indignation.

Probably it should have been obvious. People have been brought back to life by far more ludicrous means and for far more ridiculous reasons.


If you need a moment of feminist recognition - a moment when you feel the relief of knowing someone else gets what you are low level angry about all the time - I highly recommend setting aside some time to read Sunny Moraine's "Eyes I Dare Not Meet In Dreams". Susan mentioned this story in Our Favourite Media of September 2015, and I'm so glad she did. I had heard absolutely nothing about this story anywhere else but I needed it in my life. Reminder to boost your favourite short fic, people.

Moraine's story is a piece of media criticism wrapped up in a sharp and solid fictional shell. A refrigerator appears in Pennsylvania; a dead girl climbs out of it. Across America, refrigerator after refrigerator appears. Women who have spent some time down the rabbit hole of TV Tropes, or y'know being alive and consuming media, are going to get the reference right off. Yes, Moraine's creepy short story is taking on that most despised of tropes - fridging the ladies.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Sidetracks logo


You can’t say no. Not that you’d want to. Not if you’re a real soldier.

And I am. I’m a real soldier.

A real fucking hero.

I’m made of light.


Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
short fiction survey banner


We're happy to reveal the results of our Q3 Short Fiction survey, featuring stories from July 2015 to September 2015. This time around, we had 38 recommendations, which is awesome! Again, we're grateful to everyone who took part during one of the busiest times of the literary year.

Special thanks to Jonah for once again wearing the spreadsheet wizard hat and processing the stories for us.

Check out the stories below, sorted by the number of recommendations they received. We included word count this round for those who want to know the time investment they're getting into. For some stories the word counts are approximate because not all publishers provide them; corrections welcome! Stories that must be purchased to read are marked with an asterisk, but we've linked to their home magazine, anthology, or Goodreads page.

Happy reading, and keep an eye on [twitter.com profile] feministponies for the Q4 Short Fiction Survey announcement, coming in early January 2016.


Jodie & Renay




Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


The discovery of the pocket universes had proved the Titius-Bode law — all orbital systems of the pocket universes had stable and self-correcting orbital resonances with each other. In those resonances was the music of the spheres, and in those resonances, my calling.


Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Q3 short fiction survey banner


We're happy to announce the opening of our short fiction recommendation form for the third quarter of 2015! You can find the form at http://bit.ly/shortfiction2015-Q3. We hope in this round we can get to 50 individual submissions. :D If you read original speculative short fiction and have time, feel free to rec your favorites from July 1 to September 30. The form will be open until October 31, 2015. Happy reccing!
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
short fiction survey banner


We're happy to reveal the results of our Q2 Short Fiction survey, featuring stories from April 2015 to June 2015. This time around, we had 42 submissions, 28 of them with more than one recommendation, which is awesome! We're so grateful to all the short fiction fans who took part by sharing their favorite short fiction and invited their friends to take part as well. :D

Special thanks to Jonah for being our spreadsheet wizard and processing the stories for us. He's working hard to bring everyone short fiction rec lists and teach us how to use Excel. :D

Check out the stories below, sorted by the number of recommendations they received. We included word count this round for those who want to know the time investment they're getting into when choosing stories to read. For some stories the word counts are approximate because not all publishers provide them; corrections are most welcome! Stories that must be purchased to read are marked with an asterisk, but we've linked to their home magazine or anthology on Goodreads.

Happy reading, and keep an eye on [twitter.com profile] feministponies for the Q3 Short Fiction Survey announcement, coming in mid-October.


Jodie & Renay




Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


Reading Amal El-Mohtar's "Pockets" sent me rushing back to re-read "The Truth About Owls". I read this odd story when it first appeared online in January, and my strongest memory of that reading is an intense respect for the author's craft but also a deep sense of confusion about the story's publication in Strange Horizons. Calling "The Truth About Owls" an SFF story felt tenuous even to me - a reader who loves to see genre boundaries set aflame.

What a difference new reading circumstances can make. Having excised my thoughts on 'real SFF' in my post about Sophia Samatar's "Walkdog", and having recently read Silvia Morento-Garcia's weirdly normal SFF novel Signal to Noise, I approached my second reading of "The Truth About Owls" with much less genre weight on my back. Before, I was mildly in love with this story. Now, I've reached the shouting-from-the-rooftops-let's analyse-this-in-depth stage. I can tell you're all super excited about that.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
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"Hunting Monsters" by S. L. Huang was easily the story I was most excited about when Book Smugglers Publishing announced its first round of releases. Feminist retellings of "Little Red Riding Hood" get me every time, and when a story also mixes a bit of "Bluebeard" and "Beauty and the Beast" in there, well, just try and hold me back. Even if that combination of influences hadn't immediately grabbed me, I would have been sunk just by seeing the striking cover Kristina Tsenova created for "Hunting Monsters". Woah.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


When it comes to Kameron Hurley's work I've lost it; I'm a fully fledged fangirl and a fool for her words. I signed up for her newsletter and I actually read it—that's how deep I'm in.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


Malinda Lo's story "The Cure" may be short and relatively simple but it's a smart story that knows exactly what it's about. It merges horror, female-focused history and sexual subtext to create a vampire story that sticks in the mind.

Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (right now!)
[personal profile] helloladies
Last quarter, we asked everyone to submit short fiction they had loved published between January 1, 2015 and March 31st, 2015. It's taken us a bit, but now we are happy to share the results! Thanks to everyone who shared stories they enjoyed with us and encouraged others to take part. You're all awesome!

We had some ~fancy numbers~ planned, but because of lack of time and in the interest of getting the stories out there for people to read, enjoy these stories sorted by number of recs. :D Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


The first strange thing Nadia pulled from her pocket was a piece of fudge. It was a perfectly ordinary piece of fudge. But Nadia hated fudge, and couldn’t imagine how she’d come to be carrying it around. She remembered this in particular because it was a bright, cool autumn day and she’d dug into her jacket pocket instinctively, looking for change to leave in a busker’s open violin case, and had come upon the piece of fudge instead. After staring at it awkwardly for a moment, she dropped it into the violin case and hurried away before she could see whether the busker was scowling at her or not.


After reading Amal El-Mohtar's "Pockets" and "The Truth About Owls" back to back I suspect I'm going to spend June cramming all of her work into my eyes. Although very different in tone, both of these stories appealed to me for similar reasons. Both display a concentration on the pace and flow within individual paragraphs, show off El-Mohtar's sharp eye for detail, and manage to hit my feels by leveraging just the right amount of melancholy optimism. If loving "The Feels" is wrong I don't want to be right (also it's not wrong).

Read more... )

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