Cool Story, Bro: Favorite Stories and Poems, Jan-April 2019

A.D. Harper, “Unknown Search Terms” (Strange Horizons, Jan 21)

I love this apt, quirky take on the different kinds of visitors that a website receives, told using the metaphor of visitors to a house. What strange online worlds we inhabit, indeed.


Mina Florea, “Remember” (Strange Horizons, Jan 28)

I am a sucker for shapeshifter tales. This poem tells the poignant story of two Romanian orphans, one a shifter and the other apparently normal, navigating the difficult political shifts within their country as they grow.


Sabrina Vourvoulias, “Teeth” (Fireside, January)

Fireside’s new poetry section is starting with a bang. I love this swift, fierce, fast-moving poem that marries real-world political protest to monster folklore, complete with Spanish rally chants. None of its punches are pulled and none are even a little undeserved. (If you don’t speak Spanish – as I don’t – then running the chants through Google Translate when you get to them is recommended. They’re great.)


Jamie Wahls, “Truth Plus” (Strange Horizons, March 18)

Heartbreaking and thought-provoking, this apocalyptic science fiction story asks deep questions about the value of hope and mercy in a world where humans are, realistically, one hundred percent doomed. Instead of giving in to nihilism, Wahls presents a more nuanced, ambiguous picture of what it means for there to be meaning in a hopeless situation, and what other ethical rules we might break in order to find it.


Hester J. Rook, “All The Fishes Singing” (PodCastle, March 19)

Hester’s writing is so vivid and sensual in this dreamy story about merrows, queer women, and the sea. I cannot get enough of it.