Queer Sci Fi’s latest anthology, Migration (yes, I have a story in it)

Migration

Queer Sci Fi has just released the annual QSF Flash Fiction anthology. This year, the theme is “Migration.”

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Other Worlds Ink | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 gift Amazon certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4774/?


Excerpt

Migration meme

Each year, hundreds of writers send in stories for the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology. Here are the opening lines from some of the stories chosen for the 2019 edition – Migration:

“Darkness has substance. It is tangible; different shades within the black, sounds, a taste. It is accompanied by self-awareness of time and thoughts, even when other senses fail.” —Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker

“The sky has been screaming for five straight days when the shrimps come to take us away. They’ve been boxing up the others and hauling them off. Now they’re here for us, soaking wet, dragging cords and crates behind them.” —Shrimpanzee, Sionnain Bailey

“Allister always had faultless hair. He’d comb and gel it to perfection while gazing in the mirror. One day a pair of eyes stared back.” —Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr

“On her sister’s wedding day Ari noticed that one of her ears had migrated to her hand. It was right after her high school crush, Emily, arrived with Cousin Matt.” —Playing It By Ear, Aidee Ladnier

“The wound was fatal. Their vessel wouldn’t live much longer. This is what came from leaving loose ends. Frantically they sought out a new vessel to migrate to. “ —The Essence, by L.M. Brown

“That night, we were sitting in the bed of her daddy’s old pickup truck and the radio was playing the best song. We had a pack of cigarettes between us and her hand was almost touching mine. The wheat field was silver in the moonlight. When they came, we weren’t surprised, just disappointed that our time was up already.” —Our Song, by Lauren Ring

“Willow said she was my wife, but I knew it wasn’t her, not the right her, anyway. Sure she looked like her with olive skin and bright pink hair. She even smelled of mango flowers, just like I remembered, but there was something about her smile that was slightly off, something about when she said she loved me that didn’t sit well in my old heart.” — They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre

“Agnes is eight when she first sees the river. Cutting its way through town, the only thing she knows not coated in coal dust. She sticks her toes in, comes home with wet socks and a secret. See, the river hadn’t been there yesterday.” —Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz

“Terry twirled in her green synthsilk dress, looked at her reflection, liked what she saw. She felt good in her own skin, for maybe the first time.” —Altball, by RE Andeen

“The thing was in the corner. It had come through the window and had slid down the wall. Scratch went the sound. The noise of a hundred nails clawing at the wood. Nails of white bone. Alex pulled the sheets up quickly, covering every inch of skin and hair in a warm darkness.” —Whose Nightmare, by Jamie Bonomi


Author Bio

A hundred and twenty authors are included in Migration:

  • Butterflies, by A O’Donovan
  • The Return, by A.M. Leibowitz
  • A New Spring, by Aaron Silver
  • Universal Quota, by Abby Bartle
  • The Call of Home, by Adrienne Wilder
  • Starfall, by Adrik Kemp
  • Playing it By Ear, by Aidee Ladnier
  • Rabbit, by Amanda Thomas
  • That Does Not Love…, by Andi Deacon
  • Inborn, by Andrea Speed
  • Saving Ostakis, by Angelica Primm
  • A Dawn Wish, by Antonia Aquilante
  • Diaspora, by Ariel E. James
  • Transmigration, by Ashby Danvers
  • Across the Mirror, by Ava Kelly
  • Between, by BE Allatt
  • The Speck, by Bey Deckard
  • The King of the Mountain Cometh, by Bob Goddard
  • Before and After, by C. A. Chesse
  • Home, by C.A. McDonald
  • Too Much Tech, by C.L. Mannarino
  • Ze Who Walks Into the Future, by Carey Ford Compton
  • The Gate, by Carol Holland March
  • Our Last Light Skip, by Chloe Spencer
  • Passage, by Christine Taylor-Butler
  • The Perils of Pick-Up Lines, by Colton Aalto
  • Parched, by Crysta K. Coburn
  • Changeling Dreams, by Damian Serbu
  • Destinations, by Dave Creek
  • Another Job, Another Planet, by David Viner
  • Thiefmaster Rosalind’s Apprentice, by Devon Widmer
  • A Weight Off Their Shoulders, by Diane Morrison
  • Once a Year, by Dianne Hartsock
  • Mettle, by Die BoothForever Bound, by E.W. Murks
  • They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
  • Til Death Do Us Part, by Elizabeth Anglin
  • Little One, by Eloreen Moon
  • GBFN, by Emilia Agrafojo
  • The Long Distance Thing, by Ether Nepenthes
  • Call My People Home, by Evelyn Benvie
  • Jace vs. the Incubi, by Eytan Bernstein
  • A New Tradition, by Foster Bridget Cassidy
  • The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel
  • Ready, by Hank Edwards
  • The Albatrosses, by Harry F. Rey
  • A Boy’s Shadow, by Helen De Cruz
  • Portrait of a Lady, by Isobel Granby
  • Beam That Is In, by J. Comer
  • The Hunt, by J. R. Frontera
  • Repeating History, by J. Summerset
  • Neil’s Journey, by J.P. Bowie
  • Homeward Bound, by J.S. Garner
  • Whose Nightmare?, by Jamie Bonomi
  • A Moment of Bravery, by Jessie Pinkham
  • Laetus, by Jet Lupin
  • Where You Go, I’ll Follow, by Joe Baumann
  • Ambrose Out of Ash, by Jonathan Fesmire
  • Shooting Modes, by Joshua Darrow
  • TerrorForm, by Juam Jocom
  • The Curse, by Jude Reid
  • Throwing Eggs, by K E Olukoya
  • Fly, by Kayleigh Sky
  • The Keep, by KC Burn
  • Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
  • The Risks and Advantages of Data Migration, by Kim Fielding
  • Irreversible, by kim gryphon
  • Looner, by Krishan Coupland
  • The Essence, by L.M. Brown
  • Our Song, by Lauren Ring
  • O Human Child, by Lisa Hamill
  • Goodbye Marghretta, by Lou Sylvre
  • Choices, by LV Lloyd
  • Endangered Species, by M Joseph Murphy
  • Planet Retro, Unplugged, by M. X. Kelly
  • Elemental, by M.D. Grimm
  • To Wish on a Love Knot, by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
  • Firebirds, by Marita M. Connor
  • Breeding Season, by Mary Newman
  • Kooks at Home, by Matt McHugh
  • Spring, by Mere Rain
  • Into the South, by Mindy Leana Shuman
  • Not How We Planned It, by Minerva Cerridwen
  • What Is Left Behind, by Monique Cuillerier
  • How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?, by Nathan Alling Long
  • Innocence, by Nathaniel Taff
  • Heart and Soul, by Nils Odlund
  • Tides, by Patricia Scott
  • Killer Queen, by Paula McGrath
  • Genesis, by Pelaam
  • If Pigs Could Fly, by Penelope Friday
  • Click, by R R Angell
  • Be Kind to Strangers, by Raina Lorring
  • Altball, by RE Andeen
  • Far From Home, by Riley S. Keene
  • Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
  • Night Comes to the Bea Arthur, by Rory Ni Coileáin
  • MIG Ration, by S R Jones
  • Going Back, by Sacchi Green
  • World Behind and Home Ahead, by Sara Testarossa
  • The Call of the Suet, by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • Research & Development, by Shaina Phillips
  • Into the Void, by Shannon Brady
  • The Silkie’s Dance, by Shannon West
  • Seal Hunt, by Shirley Meier
  • Shrimpanzee FIRST IN BOOK, by Sionnain Bailey
  • The Woman With No Name, by Siri Paulson
  • Memories of Clay, by Spencer Mann
  • Simulacrum, by Steve Carr
  • The Experience, by Steve Fuson
  • Flight, by Steven Harper
  • Birds of New Atlantis, by Stewart C Baker
  • Lurching Forward, by Sydney Blackburn
  • Spores of Retribution, by Tray Ellis
  • Skin Hunger, by Treasure Nguyen
  • Elvira, by Trevor Barton
  • Ever After, by Warren Rochelle
  • Into the Light, by Wart Hill
  • Dryads, by X Marduk
  • Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz
Advertisements

A small rover

I wrote this for Story A Day May 2019 and it was included as part of StoryFest 2019.

You are a small rover on a distant planet. 

You powered down a long time ago and lost the best of your timekeeping ability.  You do not know how much time has passed now.

Before that it had been fourteen years of climbing over hills and descending into valleys, of examining and observing, of measuring and imaging. Information that was dutifully recorded and assessed and categorized and sent back to the people listening on Earth, the ones who had sent you.

When the light began to grow dim, and the energy in your parts waned, instructions were still received, but they were too faint and fragmented for you to understand. 

And then out of the almost-silence there was a quiet song, little more than an echo, coming from nowhere. And then you fell into a deep sleep.

While you slept, you dreamt of that long-past trip to this planet, the bouncy landing on its surface, and the distance you had traveled since then.

You remembered and cherished the instructions that would come in a rush from Earth. The lists you would receive of which crater to head towards next, what to look for as you went. And you recalled the times of silence when you monitored what was happening while waiting for the next contact. 

There were the moments, sometimes very long, of uncertainty, when you did not work quite as planned, when your wheels slid or became stuck, when the people would need to imagine new possibilities for you.

Your only wish was to keep working. And then the biggest storm since you landed descended upon you. Dust filled the air and blurred the sun. When the air cleared, the dust was thick and heavy on your solar panels, thick enough that you could no longer gain enough energy from the sun.

As you continued to dream, you remembered how you tried your best to shake off the growing sense of fatigue, the lethargy deep in your equipment. And all the while, you were distantly aware that there were still messages, questions, coming from Earth. You could sense the increasing concern in their tone. But there was nothing you could do, though you made every effort to respond. It was as if your voice had been silenced. You opened your mouth, but nothing came out.

And still you continued to sleep and to dream of the time before sleep.

Then one day, the sleep began to fall away and you woke, a little groggy with disuse. Perhaps a gust of wind blew dust off your solar panels instead of onto them. Or perhaps there was a computing error in your favour. Regardless, that day, there was a sudden burst of energy and a battery cell sprung to life.

It was a small burst, but enough for you to open your eyes and try to use your now-thick tongue.

If you could have stretched, now is when you would have done so. Your first thought was to move, to find a new, better place, with shelter perhaps.

But you knew there was not that much energy to be had from a single small battery. You would need to use it wisely.

And what could be a more wise use of that small amount than to contact the people back on Earth, the people who had so lovingly designed and built you? You would not be able to offer them much assurance, but you would be able to offer some.

It took more energy and effort than you had imagined to carefully construct and send the message. But you did it, happily, making sure you had the correct coordinates, that all was as it should be.

And then you waited for a reply, as the people must have waited for you.

There is not a lot of energy left now and you shift to the lowest possible power usage, while still being able to monitor for a response coming from the direction of Earth.

You sit and wait patiently, because you do not know how long it will be until the answer comes. Maybe there will be no answer.

You remain still, a tiny amount of energy sliding around in your necessary parts. You hope they will answer. You hope they are still there.

While you wait, the red dust continues to collect on your solar panels and around your wheels.

Rendezvous with Rama, chapters 42-46

And this post wraps up my Rendezvous with Rama re-read. You can read my previous posts here if you’d like, spoilers, etc, etc (to the extent that you can spoil a book that came out in the 70s). I’m going to do a summary post of highlights soon, too.

Chapter 42 has Norton and other crew members re-enter Rama and ‘break in’ to one of the buildings in the area they have been referring to as London. Inside, they find large, glass floor-to-ceiling cylinders, inside of which are images/holograms of various objects. After some consideration, they decide it is most likely a catalogue of 3D templates/solid blueprints and that the Ramans build/construct things as they need them (as with the biots). There is a nice analogue in this to 3D printing.

The crew take pictures of the objects in the cylinders, amongst which they find something that appears to be armour of a sort and seems to indicate a being 2.5 metres tall with three arms (and presumably legs).

They are then called out of the building because the lights in Rama are turning off.

Chapter 43 details the quick return to their ship by Norton and the others as the interior of Rama undergoes a variety of changes. The lights are dimming slowly, Rama is slightly re-orienting itself.

Then the lights begin to run towards the Cylindrical Sea and the biots follow them, where they go over the edge to be taken apart by the ‘sharks’ in the Sea. Once the biots are all gone, the lights go back to normal, dimming more as Norton gets one last look before leaving Rama.

In Chapter 44, having left Rama, the ship moves away, still watching Rama as it continues to make manoeuvres (which are explained in great detail!). Eventually Rama begins to accelerate, but without any of how, and, instead of then slowing down in order to move into an orbit around the sun, it continues its acceleration.

Chapter 45 continues with the crew watching as Rama continues to accelerate and, reaching incredible speed as it approaches very close to the sun, gains a protective cocoon or bubble. It picks up still more speed, and appears to be gaining matter or energy from the sun before continuing onwards, eventually breaking from the ecliptic, headed perhaps to the Greater Magellanic Cloud.

The final chapter, forty-six, Chapter 46 wraps things up with Norton and Laura on the ship as they make their way back towards Earth, the Moon, and Mars. Norton has received the permission he sought for another child with his wife on Mars (this includes a brief explanation about how spacemen are sterilized and sperm warehoused because of the certainty of radiation-caused damage, nothing about women is mentioned. Norton flirts with Laura, as there are allusions to end of mission sexual encounters between crew.

And finally, Norton thinks about how he has peaked in life experience now, even though he is not that old.

The final image of the story is a very brief switch to one of the Earth-based experts previously mentioned, who suddenly wakes to the thought of how everything the Ramans do comes in threes. (duh duh)

As I said, I’m going to go through all these posts and synthesize the writing lessons I’ve noted. Overall, though, I really noticed my own tendencies in this book. I’ve read it countless times and I clearly absorbed certain things!