‘Seeking boarder for rm w/ attached bathroom, must be willing to live with ghosts ($500 / Berkeley)’ by Rahul Kanakia (Clarkesworld, 2014). We’re all going to misremember the title of this one, I expect (sorry Rahul! it is long), but not the story itself. It’s clever and charming, and a little sad. It also reminds me of Allison Burnett’s The House Beautiful, for very obvious reasons.
‘Make No Promises’ by Rachel Halpern (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2014). This is one of those stories that’s epic in scope but also very quiet – in a good way. Prescience and the trouble of prophecies, and sisterhood.
‘Here Be Monsters’ by Carrie Patel (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2014). On sea and monstrosity, human-shaped and not. I was surprised to discover the first-person narrator is male! I’m not sure why, but I assumed it was a woman.
Conversely, a child’s hurts exist in a world untouchable by adults. There is no vocabulary for things like the threat of losing a best friend when you are not quite eleven. There is only swinging on the old tire your father hung from the oak in the backyard, twirling round and round, while your little brother tries to push you without getting knocked over, tries to comfort you in the silent animal language you share.
‘Testimony’ by Jennifer Mason-Black (Fireside, 2014). Oh, look at that. This is why I fell in love with Jennifer’s writing, back in 2012. There’s an effortlessness to it and this power of observation – just look at this narration of childhood.
‘Nine Dishes on the Cusp of Love’ by Fran Wilde (Daily SF, 2014). Sensual and delicious (also literally; much food description!).