Guess what, I have been living a foolish half-life all this time by not regularly reading short SFF. My resolution for 2018 was to find three stories over the course of the year that I really loved and wanted to advocate for. It is now February, and I’ve hit my goal. Already! Just in February! In part this happened because I am nominating for Hugos, so I’ve been reading a bunch of stories off of best-of lists.
One of my stories is very shameful for me that I didn’t read it sooner, because everything that I heard about it was 100% “this story is the most charming angel of a story that ever there has been.” And that is correct. It is very close to as charming, if not equally as charming, as “Fandom for Robots,” the story so charming it convinced me to make this short story resolution in the first place.
What a great cover, no?
Published by the Book Smugglers, “Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live” is a story about trans boys in love and crossroads magic. Messages start appearing all over school that all say the same thing: Avi Cantor has six months to live. Though Avi doesn’t know what to make of it, his classmate Ian seems to care quite a bit how he’s doing. Avi is cranky and Ian is sunshine, and if you’ve talked with me much around these parts, you’ll know that that’s my favorite type of romance.
Do things turn out well? Things turn out well. Which, I mean, you can’t always rely on stories about crossroads magic to turn out well. I am hard put to think of another.
Secondly: “The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer (Apex Magazine)
Apparently the culture has incepted me into having a soft spots for robots who think and feel independently? What with this and “Fandom for Robots” (Jenny shut up about “Fandom for Robots”) (narrator: she did not shut up about “Fandom for Robots”) and Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries, this has evidently become a thing I love.
Basically, a crappy old bot is asked by its crappy old ship to take care of one of the thousand problems on board this crappy old ship. It is imperative that all the bots do their jobs well, because the crappy old ship is the last hope for Earth to survive an alien attack. Things are looking very grim indeed for our heroes, but Bot 9 has not yet given up. Because it is terribly plucky.
Do things turn out well? Things turn out well. Come on. What do you take me for?
God. I am crushing this project. I am the goddamn queen of this project. I have never made such a successful resolution. (Yes I have, I am great at resolutions, I have used them to make friends, crafts, and healthy eating habits. But still this is a pretty good one.)