Beautifully written science fiction and fantasy.

The Dream Diary of Monk Anchin – Felicity Drake

I went to the museum’s special exhibition on Seitokuji Temple alone, as was my habit. In the corner, there was a glass case full of portraits of the temple’s famous poets. The last portrait made me stop to take a second look. Unlike the other monks, this one was gazing directly out at the viewer. His face was painted in the standard Yamato-e style, just lines for the eyes and a hook for the nose,…

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The Forest of New People – Thom Connors

When winter comes to Vakning Forest, nothing changes. The evergreens, packed tightly together, don’t wilt or become bare. Nor does the smell fade. As the winter deepens, the snow covers the canopy like a blanket, and the scent of pine needles and pine cones follows the only path worn out of the darkness. Outside the forest, where the path begins, is the cottage of Abi and Odo Tremord. It has a red roof, brown walls,…

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Time’s Arrow – C. Heidmann

In 2130 the Nelari began resurrecting the dead. In 2133 Talia’s father called for the first time in five years. “You want to bring her back, Dad?” After all this time, after what you did? Talia wanted to add, but didn’t. Couldn’t. Not to his face. Not anymore. She barely recognized the white-haired, eighty-three-year old figure; the holo-projectors in her quarters relayed every etch-mark of time, his still-bright blue eyes peering at her out of…

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The Stars Don’t Lie – R.W.W. Greene

The Dean of Admissions took off his spectacles and polished them on his dappled lower shoulder. “You will be the first man to attend Chiron Classical University, you know.” “I’m a woman,” Lesa said. “A female of my species. I know the situation is unusual, but—.” “I used ‘man’ in the inclusive meaning of the word.” The Dean’s rear hooves shifted on the thick grass. “Unusual. Yes, it is unusual. You should not expect special…

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The Tapestry – A.C. Worth

Terce—Three Hours after Dawn Sister Alice was glad of the rain. A steady patter of raindrops displayed a landscape to her sensitive ears and helped her find a path. Without hesitation, her feet followed a line of paving stones across mossy grass inside the courtyard. It was so early that the sun had not cleared the high monastery walls. The air smelled of damp stone and new wool and brown bread. Around her, she sensed…

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Strangers in the Night – David Whitaker

Emptiness. A vast, frozen void, stretching out in all directions, extending to the infinite. Like a colossal blank canvas, it was mammoth in scope, yet almost entirely devoid of life, thought, or purpose. The probe was an exception. Easing its way slowly but surely between the solar systems, it glided determinedly forth. In the immense cosmic scale of things, it was nothing; just a slim metal construct a couple of metres across, utterly insignificant in…

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