Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

Courtship in the Country of Machine–Gods

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

PLEASE ENJOY THE FOLLOWING NOVELETTE Courtship in the Country of Machine–Gods by Benjanun Sriduangkaew Featured in The Apex Book of World SF 3 edited by Lavie Tidhar An Apex Publications Book! One of the most exciting young writers of speculative fiction working today, Thai author Benjanun Sriduangkaew exploded onto the scene in 2012 with a string of high–profile novelettes, of which this lyrical tale is one. In the shadow of machine–gods I tell wayfarers of a time when my people were a nightmare the color of hemorrhage and glinting teeth. There are other narratives, but this is the one they want to hear most, the one they pay with their adoration and bright–eyed want,...

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Insurrection in Silk

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

She is drowning in organza and shantung, a rustling mass of indigo and royal purple. The fabric whispers under her hands, defying her to prick a finger and spot the silk. Its cost is unfathomable: even the scraps are precious, trimmed square and painstakingly hemmed into handkerchiefs for royal favors, and the whole is worth far more than a dressmaker’s life. The apprentices’ work is done, and they’ve gone out to enjoy the Conqueror’s Festival or home to their beds. The imperial dressmaker remains, burning through scores of beeswax candles, her neck and shoulders aching as she hunches over her task. The basting must be finished before the fitting tomorrow morning,...

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Blessed are the Hungry

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 6 comments

That afternoon they flushed San Carlos Seldran out the airlock. Everyone on Cabra Deck was required to watch, even the little ones. Despite what old people tell you, in the vacuum of space your blood won’t boil. Your body won’t explode either. In less than a minute you’d simply die from a lack of oxygen. There wouldn’t be time to scream. His was a humane execution — quick, clean and painless. “The Lord preserves all who love him but all the wicked he destroys,” growled the ancient Holosonic, droning the day’s lesson with great pomp and solemnity. My family and I watched as our former parish priest drifted away towards infinity. The void swallowed him up with a deep...

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The Food in the Basement

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 17 comments

Kaden mostly fed Sondra frozen meals and salads, though he made a point to buy her favorite snacks and desserts when she was behaving. She had a small kitchen in the basement and he would restock her food supply about once a week. When he left she would hide part of the food, in case she was punished by only being given bland food again. But no matter what, Sondra always had food, probably because Kaden wouldn’t get much nutrition when he fed on her if she was starving. Sondra was reading Rabbit at Rest when she heard the locks of the door being released. She glanced at the page number and shut the book. She placed it back on the bookcase, so it looked like it had never...

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The Salt Path

by on Jun 3, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

At first the others didn’t trust Ilahi because he’d never killed anyone. But he could find things. This had been his job with their unit, finding the enemy, finding supplies, finding… anything. Away from the war, he became essential, and by the time they reached the salt marshes, Tran had begun to make excuses for him to the others whenever he did anything too outlandish. Mishy never made excuses for anyone, and she waved away Tran’s excuses whenever they came up.  Mishy felt that excuses were beside the point. They were short on rations and short on ammunition, and none of their dreams were giving them any direction that indicated anything useful about finding their...

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Soul of Soup Bones

by on Jun 3, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

Finding Drevený came first. An unrecorded town on the border of Slovakia—outgrown, emptied and overgrown since 1523—it knew no maps. Adrienne located its remnants just the same; wild roses, a crust of scattered masonry in a pitted field, bomb-broken from an old war. The necromancer’s journal placed the forest less than a mile to the north. She found it near enough as he described, downhill a way and settled in a loose crook of the river. From there, with only the ritual to worry about, things grew easier. Adrienne stepped out of daylight and into the forest, a wild goose held under one arm, spell-docile and dozing. Choked with elderberry and briar bushes, the forest...

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