Shards – Jordan Chase-Young

Shona’s seaweed harness creaked loudly as a cold, whistling gale tried to fling her off the Spire. She held onto the masonry until the air stilled, until her guts ceased to cartwheel. In the six years since Shona had escaped the deluge, she’d rarely felt vertigo. Even when her fellow earthmasons raised the Spire as high as it hung now—a mile or so above the ocean that now wrapped the world—the sun-pummeled water below seemed …

They Build ‘Em Tough on Magna Mater – R.W.W. Greene

George’s voice crackled over the headset radio. “You going tonight?” “Not hardly. Pa fined me hard last time. Claimed I forgot to plug Bessie back in and cost us a day’s work.” Zeke spit a glob of bright orange newbacco juice into a can he’d taped to the inside of the tractor’s cockpit. “I plugged her in. Just didn’t have time for a full recharge.” “Like your Pa would know anything about a day’s work,” …

The Friendly Ghost – Ashley R. Carlson

A Year Before Conversations with you were never dull (it was one of the main reasons I wanted to marry you), but that night things had taken a random turn from flirty innuendos and our cat’s sudden-onset sneezing attacks to more macabre fare. You’d just told me about a dangerous incident that happened on the work site, and that if things had been left running a little while longer, you could’ve lost a limb or …

Time and Grace – Joseph Halden

Grace Soh was going to blaze across the empty American highways faster than anyone ever had, making it from coast to coast in a matter of hours: six if everything went as planned. The faster she got to the boost site in Oakland, California, the more money she’d make. Grace would pay damages if she was late, but she would also reap the rewards if she was early. People paid a lot to have their …

The Woman Who Brought Love to Death – Kathryn Yelinek

 Gudrun plunked herself down in the grass, her back against the side of the sod house. The guests were feasting, and the funeral ale was flowing, so she could indulge her grief a moment. Almighty gods, had Ketill been dead a week already? In the distance, the last of the smoke from his funeral pyre drifted over the horse fields. Beyond that, clear on the horizon, lay the green hill of Graenheth. Souls went …

Zsezzyn, Who Is Not a God – Jennifer Shelby

A lone man watches over the universe, and the pen he wields contains the power to erase from existence all he deems unworthy. His daughter, Zsezzyn, plays at his feet. She likes to watch him work — the steadily deepening crease on his brow, the scales on which he measures a balance of right, wrong, and the gray that lives between. One day, he will bequeath his pen to her, and this cave where the …