Fiction recs

I read three excellent stories online recently.

1. Married in Green, by Seanan McGuire, is available for download, free. It’s the latest short story in the InCryptid series, detailing the lives of Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown. If you know the marriage rhyme, you know that green is not the correct color to be married in.

What I think I love the very most about Jonathan and Frances is that at every point they are making choices. Good choices, bad choices, choices of action and inaction — they choose. This is not happenstance. I will note Seanan’s song, Mama Said:

And she said, “Don’t be chosen, make the choice to choose.
Though the world seems frozen, forcing you to lose.
You only get one shot to shoot at fate,
So better take your time before it’s too late.
When they try to force your hand, you just refuse.”
She said, “Don’t be chosen, make the choice to choose.”

2. If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love, by Rachel Swirsky. (At Apex Magazine.)

Sad, sad, and deeply angry, and sad again, and so furiously rageful that there is nothing left in this story but perfect calm. I cannot really describe this story. But it is short, and you can read it quickly, and it is very much worth your time.

3. Terrain, by Genevieve Valentine. (At Tor.com.)

This is a beautiful Western. There is a land grab. There are Native Americans. There is a railroad. A barn is burned. Good men are killed. There is silence, so much silence, and the silence gives the story room to speak.

Yet I have never read this Western before. This Western makes the invisible visible. It gives name and bone to the forgotten. It is not the Western you are expecting.

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