Now Posted Clarkesworld #82
• "Pockets Full of Stones" by Vajra Chandrasekera
"The ghost of my grandfather Rais flickered when he talked about first contact. He was a decade younger than me now, unwrinkled and black-haired, far from grandfatherly."
• "I Tell Thee All, I Can No More" by Sunny Moraine
"Just let it in. Let it watch you at night. Tell it everything it wants to know. These are the things it wants, and you’ll let it have those things to keep it around. Hovering over your bed, all sleek chrome and black angles that defer the gaze of radar."
• "Across the Terminator" by David Tallerman
"Fasbender shook the flask as though it really were some living thing he was trying to subdue, yet its contents looked more than anything like dirty water—it was Hank’s pointing this out that had provoked his outburst in the first place"
• "The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm" by Daryl Gregory.
"The 22nd Invasion of Trovenia began with a streak of scarlet against a gray sky fast as the flick of a paintbrush. The red blur zipped across the length of the island, moving west to east, and shot out to sea. The sonic boom a moment later scattered the birds that wheeled above the fish processing plant and sent them squealing and plummeting."
• "The Dust Assassin" by Ian McDonald
"You never think your life is special. Your life is just your life, your world is just your world, even lived in a Rajput Palace defended by machine monkeys against an implacable rival family. Even when you are a weapon"
Now Posted Apex #50.
• “To Die for Moonlight” by Sarah Monette
"I had been weeping when I started; by the time it was done, the last tattered string of flesh severed, I had no tears left in me, and my mouth and eyes and sinuses were raw with bile and salt."
• “Abomination Rises on Filthy Wings” by Rachel Swirsky
"When I get home, the TV’s still on but she’s not in front of it. Her bathrobe lies deflated. I imagine that she’s disintegrated like a staked vampire, but there she is in the kitchen, rattling cupboards."
• “The Constable of Abal” by Kelly Link
"Ozma was small for her age. Her voice was soft, and her limbs were delicate as a doll’s. She bound her breasts with a cloth. She didn’t mind the hot chocolate, although she would have preferred wine. But wine might have made her sleepy or clumsy, and it was hard enough carefully and quietly slipping in and out of bedrooms and dressing rooms and studies unnoticed when hundreds of ghost charms were dangling like fishing weights from your collar"
- “A Great Clerk of Necromancy” by Catherynne M. Valente
- "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" by Rachel Swirsky
Now Posted Galaxy's Edge #3
• "The Islands of Hope" by Heidi Ruby Miller
"Julian would give his left foot just so his right one could touch York Island again with all its sabal palms and white sand. He never paid it much mind except as one half of the tobacco run to St. Clair. That run was never meant to take them so far north into these windless seas."
• "A Soldier's Complaint" by Eric Flint
"The truth is, most human soldiers get along fine with the rats. First of all, rats have a dark and pessimistic view of life, which any foot soldier can appreciate. From the first day, they fit right into the gripe sessions, predicting doom and disaster like seasoned veterans."
• "The Held Daughter" by Laurie Tom
"I realized that Heaven had a different fate in store for me when Imperial Father married off my younger sister while I was still unwed. The celebration was held at the Palace of the Tranquil Sea, where the waters of the southern ocean lapped at sandy beaches and the dragons could easily climb from the surf to give their blessings. Guests consumed meat and wine, and tried not to look my way, to look at Fourth Princess with only a guardian lion at her feet and attendants for company."
• "A Galaxy Called Rome" by Barry Malzberg
"Conceive then of a faster-than-light spaceship which would tumble into the black galaxy and would be unable to leave. Tumbling would be easy, or at least inevitable, since one of the characteristics of the black galaxy would be its invisibility, and there the ship would be. The story would then pivot on the efforts of the crew to get out. The ship is named Skipstone. It was completed in 3892. Five hundred people died so that it might fly, but in this age life is held even more cheaply than it is today."
• "A Brief History of a World in the Time Before This Time" by Muxing Zhao
"The Beginning of Time: Once upon a time, 27.831 billion years ago, before even the Big Bang, there had been another singularity. It was a tiny dot and it quite enjoyed itself, passing its time by wandering about through the ocean of emptiness it liked to call home. This dot's name was Dot, and it spoke a rather simple language: Dot Language. The language was not very creative, as you would probably expect from a dot."
• "With Folded Hands" by Jack Williamson.
"His dim annoyance sharpened, because Underhill was in the mechanicals business himself. Times were already hard enough, and mechanicals were a drug on the market. Androids, mechanoids, electronoids, automatoids, and ordinary robots. Unfortunately, few of them did all the salesmen promised, and the Two Rivers market was already sadly oversaturated."
• "Just Another Night at the Quarterly Meeting of Terrifying Giant Monsters" by Brennan Harvey
"The only board members present were Godzilla, King Kong, the Cloverfield Monster, Barbara the Blob, and Antoinette herself. There were other attendees, but they needed one more board member to start an official meeting."
• "Two Fantasies" by C. L. Moore
"Now she wore a single torn garment, and her feet were bare and her hair a mop of ragged glory. Save for that ominous brightness there was no way to tell her rank from that of her playmate; no one could have guessed that here by the sea a Duchess sat digging in the sand."
• "The Teammates" by Ron Collins
"I had waited on her at the Universal Grill for the past three years, yet never known her name. She was pancakes and grits with no butter, all you can drink coffee (of which she drank a lot), and a thirty-percent tip. Dependable as the rising sun. We spoke only a little in the early days, but more often recently. She seemed good as aliens go. But we were on her turf now, so I sat there in her office, uncomfortable in my newest shirt and my grease-stained pants, waiting for her to get to business."
• "Buried Hopes" by Michael Flynn
"The counselor wore her hair in an authoritative bun and dressed in mannish, but mammalian fashion. Her large-framed glasses gave her a distancing, professional mien. She sat in a second chair facing him at an angle."
• "Dark Universe (Part 3)" by Daniel F. Galouye
"Jared flinched from the absurd impressions, from the contradictory composites of physical orientation. He was certain he still lay in the corridor near the dripping needle of rock. Yet, he was equally sure he was somewhere else."