helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Guest Columnist underneath. (guest column)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Hey friends.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been finding the world a very stressful place recently. That can make it really hard for me to focus. So I thought I’d put together a list of comforting stories. Because sometime I just need to read something that reminds me of the good in the world. I learned from talking about hopeful stories that some of the stories I found bleak others found hopeful, so I suspect that not everyone will be comforted by these stories. There’s a lot family in these stories: both blood family and found family; a fair bit of food; and plenty of people being nice to each other and trying their best. Those are the things I try and hold on to when things are hard. I hope they bring you some comfort.

"The Witches of Athens" by Lara Elena Donnelly — This was one of the first stories I fell in love with when I started reading short fiction online. It's a story about two very different witches in Athens, Ohio who need to work together to help two men get together. I love the sweet romance elements and all the little details which bring the dinners they meet in to life, and I especially love the relationship between the two women.

"The Contemporary Foxwife" by Yoon Ha Lee — This is another old favorite. Kanseun is a student on space station far from home, and one day a foxwife shows up at her door. He (yes he despite the wife) wants to take care of Kanseun but she doesn’t need most of his skills in her high tech world. Nonetheless she takes him in. This just a really cute domestic story, and I love this take on fox spirits.

"The House of Aunts" by Zen Cho — This Malaysian teen vampire story is another long time favorite of mine. Ah Lee lives with her six aunts, and what I love about this story is how they really care about her and try their best to take care of Ah Lee.

"Little Dot" by Diana Wynne Jones — Collected in Unexpected Magic and Firebirds. Both are lovely collections featuring many other fine stories as well as this one. DWJ is my ultimate comfort re-read. This is my favorite short of hers told from the point of view of magical cat. Little Dot, the cat, is charming and very cat-like. She works with other cats to protect her human and its just lovely. (Content note: animal cruelty)

”Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon — This story about a young man who inherits a magic sword from his grandmother—but he just wants to be a farmer! I love this story because it's about valuing feeding people and taking care of the land.

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis — This charming novella is a recent favorite since it just came out last year. I’ve read it twice so far and I just love the characters. I enjoy the romance element, but my favorite relationship in the is novella is one between siblings. I also really enjoy the magical and political aspects of the world that Burgis has created here.

"Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land" by Ruthanna Emrys — This story about sharing magic, and finding what you need. It's also a Jewish response to Narina. The story starts of by saying “The land of Tikanu spread from Dinah’s garden along with the wild mint” and about how Dinah’s friends and family and wider community find Tukanu -- a magical land of golems, libraries, dolphins, laws, names and patterns.

The underlying theme of these stories seems to be communities and people taking care of each other. So no wonder I find them comforting. What stories do you find comforting?

[personal profile] forestofglory is a fan, crafter, an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy short fiction, and a mom. You can find her on Dreamwidth and on Twitter at [twitter.com profile] forestofglory.

Date: 2018-09-27 11:32 am (UTC)
kass: kitten face (Default)
From: [personal profile] kass
Thank you for this post; I needed this today. I already know and love the foxwife story and look forward to trying the others, especially the Jewish response to Narnia.

Date: 2018-09-28 02:41 am (UTC)
jeliza: custom avatar by hexdraws (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeliza
Thank you.

Date: 2018-09-28 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you thank you thank you. All the stories on here that I've already read I love, so I feel good about my chances with the rest of them.

Date: 2018-10-01 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cheshyre
Have you read these two?
Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Tank! by John Wiswell

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