Weekly Featured Shorts: Robots, Time Travel & Love

This week’s featured stories include time travel, robots, dystopias and a strange future where people share immunities to survive amidst a plague-riddled landscape. 

THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS
By Jenn Reese
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Published January/February 2019

It’s amazing what Jenn Reese was able to do with 791 words in her short story, The Right Number of Cats. This piece of flash fiction operates on multiple levels. We see a woman with three cats trying to fight against this ethereal Fourth Cat that lurks around her home, causing trouble and invading her thoughts.

CREDIT TO MY NATION
By Sandra McDonald
Asimov’s Science Fiction
Published January/February 2019

At a distance, Credit to My Nation is a science fiction tale that shows the effect time travel can have on our perception of the world and ourselves. At a deeper level, it’s a look at a person’s identity, examining the many events, relationships and lifetimes it took to create each person.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF IMMUNO-SHARING
By Andy Dudak
Analog Science Fiction & Fact
Published January/February 2019

Love in the Time of Immuno-Sharing is a wild ride, traversing a version of the future where plagues are ravaging the world. People have replaced sex with ‘immuno-sharing’ which passes antibodies to various plagues between partners. It’s hard to imagine what this act looks like or how it could be enjoyable, but nonetheless, it’s the fad of the time.

FIRE IN THE BONE
By Ray Nayler
Clarkesworld Magazine
Published January 2019

Fire in the Bone presents a complicated settler narrative, weaving a story of human colonization of a fertile world and a history of robot betrayals against humans. Nayler has pumped the story full of insightful dialogue, asking us to imagine how a space traveler must feel being trapped on a ship, exploring planet to planet, never finding home.

POEMS WRITTEN WHILE
By Natalia Theodoridou
Uncanny Magazine
Published January/February 2019

Poems Written While by Natalia Theodoridou is a wonderful gem of a story, showing tenderness, compassion, and love amidst a dystopian world post-war. Our protagonist, Daddy, is a trans man who has formed a family with a group of orphaned kids, all of them leaning on each other to get by in this unforgiving world. There are so many layers to the story, making the group’s situation both heartwarming and harrowing.

  • Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash
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