EXCERPT: I’d never been on a quieter school bus. Kids were whispering to each other, looking scared as hell as the bus clipped stray branches from the endless forest pressing in on both sides of us. “This isn’t even a two-way road,” I murmured to Flora, the girl sitting beside me. She was chubby and had braces. “I know. Where is this school? My parents said this would be the greatest thing ever for my college applications, but I don’t know about this.”
EXCERPT: There once were two sisters, close in age, who had been birthed and loved and became stooped and wise and were now old women together. They lived in a house in a courtyard surrounded by a tall stone wall, meant to keep out most children and all men, though starlings made their nests in the boughs of the elms. One day, the king—an old man himself—was walking by the wall when he heard the lilting voices of the sisters, who had become accomplished singers over their long years.
EXCERPT: Our cover art this month is from Elizabeth Leggett, illustrating an original science fiction short by Will McIntosh (“What is Eve?”). We also have new work from Timothy Mudie (“The Elephants’ Crematorium”), along with SF reprints by Steven Barnes (“Mozart on the Kalahari”) and Mary Anne Mohanraj (“Webs”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Adam-Troy Castro (“A Place Without Portals”) and Ruth Joffre (“Nitrate Nocturnes”), and fantasy reprints by Carmen Maria Machado (“The Old Women Who Were Skinned”) and Ken Liu (“The Snow Train”). All that, and of course we have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. We also have a feature interview with Angus McIntyre. For our ebook readers, we also have our usual ebook-exclusive novella reprint (“Lazy Dog Out,” by Suzanne Palmer), and an excerpt from Bryan Camp’s debut novel, The City of Lost Fortunes.