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Five Recommended Speculative Stories for Indie Readers, 2009

I’ve spent my last couple weeks reading short stories, novelettes, and novellas so that I can nominate for the Nebula and Hugo awards. This is my first year doing either, although I’ve been eligible to vote for the Nebulas for a couple of years now. I’ve made my nominations for short stories, novelettes, and novellas public, along with some recommended reading lists. Here are five stories y’all might enjoy, which you can read online.

Remembrance is Something Like a House” by Will Ludwigsen, originally published in Interfictions 2Every day for three decades, the abandoned house strains against its galling anchors, hoping to pull free. It has waited thirty years for its pipes and pilings to finally decay so it can leave for Florida to find the Macek family.

Superhero Girl” by Jessica Lee*, originally published in Fantasy Magazine – Ofelia was a superhero. She told me so without reserve. “It’s safe for me to tell you,” she said. “I can sense you’re not a villain. Besides, it would be unfair to keep it from you. It won’t be easy, you know, being involved with a superhero girl.”

Reading By Numbers” by Aidan Doyle, originally published in Fantasy Magazine – An oak tree stood in the center of the garden. It reached unending into the sky and its trunk was alive with an army of marching ants, each of them carrying a glowing neon digit. Together they formed the prime number Sujimoto had discovered — a number more than 42 million digits long.

The Mermaids Singing Each to Each” by Cat Rambo, originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine – Niko leaned behind me in the cabin, raising his voice to be heard over the roar of engine and water, “When you Choose, which is it going to be? Boy or girl?”

The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi, originally published in Fast Forward 2My colleagues’ faces flicker gray and pale in the light of their computers and tablets. The tap of their keyboards fills the newsroom as they pass content down the workflow chain and then, with a final keystroke and an obeisance to the “publish” button, they hurl it onto the net.

*One of my former students.

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