It’s time to discuss my favorite short fiction published in November! It’s all short stories this time, and mostly available for free from Tor.com (links given below). I actually just finished Charlie Jane Anders novel, All the Birds in the Sky, so it was a nice treat to find a short story set in the same universe.
Everything that Isn’t Winter by Margaret Killjoy (Short Story, Tor.com): This was a beautifully-written post-apocalyptic story, featuring a stable community that has rebuilt from the ashes. The story involves a direct physical threat to their way of life, but it also involves the changing emotional state of the narrator, one of the community’s protectors. He worries that he is defined by his violence, and that the future holds no place for him. I found it really interesting to read about this transition from a mindset of survival to one of hope.
Clover by Charlie Jane Anders (Short Story, Tor.com): This one is mostly for those who have read All the Birds in the Sky, and who wondered what happened to Berkley the cat. The story does involve Patricia and magic, but the main focus is on the life and relationship of the couple that take in Berkley after Patricia went away. It was a sweet story, and one that left me feeling happy.
Between Going and Staying by Lilliam Rivera (Short Story, F&SF): I thought this one was powerful, though it was not particularly happy. The main character Dolores is a doliente, a professional mourner. She makes lots of money by performing flashy services for rich families, and she doesn’t think much about the fact that she is working for cartel families. When a former lover is taken and presumably killed for her activism, Dolores is forced to consciously consider the role she has decided to play in the world.