I'm trying to break a bad habit this year.
Every time I fall in love with a story, I share it with Twitter. Now, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Twitter is there for the distribution of information, after all. But it is also ephemeral. A tweet flickers across someone's screen. Sometimes, they click it. Sometimes, they don't. Sometimes, they forget to share whatever it was that they enjoyed.
And then it's gone.
Which is far less than short stories deserve.
So I've committed to, I think, a feasible project. Once a week, I round up all the stories I feature on my Facebook page. I keep it brief. I keep the descriptions of the stories themselves brief. Just so I don't burn out writing them. I also give myself license to write about stories from any period of time because heck, why not?
This is the first round-up. I hope you like these stories as much as I do.
THE THREE NIGHTS OF THE HALF-GENT (Strange Horizons) is gorgeous and lyrical, exploring hesitation and uncertain affection, all the while thrumming with a backbeat of dark tragedy.
THE LAST SAILING OF THE HENRY CHARLES MORGAN IN SIX PIECES OF SCRIMSHAW (1841) (The Dark)is academic yet menacing, combining a sense of narrative distance with building horror.
RED MASK (Shimmer) is both mythical and dystopian, exploring a ghost-haunted Shanghai where de-ribbed dancers sway to the amusement of the rich, and the faces of women are commodities.
LETTER FROM AN ARTIST TO A THOUSAND FUTURE VERSIONS OF HER WIFE (Arsenika, first printed in QDSF) is a gorgeous story of broken promises, marital love. Tinted with body horror, it succeeds at being both immense and intensely private.
THE END OF THE END OF EVERYTHING (Tor.com) is a stunning piece of sf-horror set at the brink of apocalypse. Pulling together a cast of broken individuals, it spins a bleak tale around a renowned mutilation artist.
NINE DISHES ON THE CUSP OF LOVE (Daily Science Fiction) is sublime, sensuous with detail, and a fantastic introduction to Fran Wilde. The alienness of the dishes provides a wonderful backdrop to the problematic relationship of our lead characters. Once again, a thimble-sized story that succeeds at suggesting enormous.
LA BEAUTÉ SANS VERTU (Tor.com) is stunningly incisive, gorgeously poetic; a story I go back to, over and over again. A cold reflection on the fashion industry, nuanced and supernaturally beautiful.