Cool stories from May and June

May and June, June especially, have been incredibly busy months for me, but I’ve still managed to read a few things that I really liked.

Vajra Chandrasekera, “Merrick” (Liminal Stories, Issue 3, spring/summer). An extended meditation on totalitarianism, grief, mental illness, and the anxieties that come with all three. It reads at the beginning like it might become an exploitative mental illness story, but instead it blossoms out into this strange, sad, sensitive thing in which the mental illness is only one of many problems and not nearly the worst, and vulnerable people just muddle along through all of it as best they can.

Gabriel Noel, “If I Told You” (Strange Horizons, March 20). A sharp, gorgeous poem about race and survival and fear. Also flowers.

Karolina Fedyk & Elzbieta Glowacka, “Of Iliaster” (Liminality, Issue #12, summer). A visual poem about queer love, knowledge, and wonder. I haven’t seen a poem in comic format before, but having seen this one, I’m sold. Absolutely gorgeous.