I’m ridiculously late, but here are my favorite non-autism-related stories and poems from the early spring. (Stories I read in May and June are being collected separately.)
Elaine Atwell, “Finity” (GigaNotoSaurus, February). This story is frickin’ amazing. It’s like a tragic lesbian story in reverse – starting with grief, and moving from there to love and wellness and hope, showing how difficult and uncertain and delicate that movement is and how it happens anyway. (I think it’s also a deliberate homage to “Passengers”, but one that fixes all the things that made “Passengers” awful.) I need more stories that value human life the way this one does. I need more stories that value queer relationships the way this one does. Also: it has the cutest AI since “Cat Pictures Please”.
Karen Bovenmyer, “Syncing Minefields” (Strange Horizons, February 20). A bleak, beautiful poem about love and mistakes and, well, minefields.
Amal El-Mohtar, “Anabasis” (Tor.com, March 8). The entire “Nevertheless, She Persisted” flash series on Tor.com is worth reading, but Amal’s story stands out from the pack. It’s the grittiest, the most immediate, the most heartrending.
S. Qiouyi Lu, “A Complex Filament of Light” (Anathema, Issue 1, April). A beautiful story about mental health, grief, culture, and connection (and also ANTARCTIC AURORAS).
Holly Lyn Walrath, “Pine Song, Robin Song, Star Song” (Liminality, Issue #11, March). A love poem between a tree and a bird. I like love poems, but few poems can have both love and death in them and yet still make me feel so light and contented.