I’m bringing back Short Fiction Friday after being inspired by Acquadimore’s short fiction posts. This feature is essentially me featuring at least three short stories that I’ve read and enjoyed recently. I’m doing this in an effort to read more short fiction, as I certainly don’t read enough of it.
A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli Clark (Tor, May 2016): STEAMPUNK CAIRO. STEAMPUNK CAIRO. STEAMPUNK CAIRO WITH HINTS OF COSMIC HORROR. This is a short story set in an alternative 1912 Egypt, where supernatural creatures have infiltrated the world. The main character, Fatma, is a suit-wearing investigator with the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. As she attempts to solve the murder of a dead djinn – an Old One, at that – she realizes that something very nefarious is going on. This was AWESOME; one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Incredibly fun, incredibly atmospheric, and so well-versed in the nuances of Egyptian culture that I had to look up whether the author was actually Egyptian (he’s not). This is everything I’ve ever wanted from a short story and I will definitely be picking up the author’s novella set in this world!
Bargains by the Slant Light by Cassandra Khaw (Apex, October 2018): Very short and very creepy. It features exactly the type of twisted interaction I enjoy. In this case, a girl has made a deal with a devil, and he tears apart nightly. This is the kind of story that I feel is too short; it’s a microcosm of an interaction. I want more, much more; I want to see the bargain being made and all the reasons behind it. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this snapshot.
Into the Gray by Margaret Killjoy (Tor, April 2018): This was an enjoyable and straightforward story about a trans woman who leads men to their death-by-mermaid, and this mermaid also happens to be the woman’s lover. I enjoyed the morbid tone of this story and appreciated the monster lover trope between two women. I also liked that this was a relatively straightforward story; nothing mysterious or cerebral about it.