Summer reading — is it really a thing once you leave primary school? People seem to think it is, from all the summer reading lists that pop up around this time of year. But in between plowing through the novels in your to-read pile, don't forget to pick up or download some magazines as well. Here are the best stories I read last week.
Excerpt: "Are you in need of a foxwife? I cook, do dishes, scrub floors"—who did any of that except as a hobby?—"arrange flowers, disarm bombs, perform minor surgery, and provide comfort and companionship." She?—they?—radiated hopefulness at Kanseun.
I love that this story takes place in a far-future science fiction setting, yet features a being from Japanese folklore. Yoon does this kind of thing particularly well.
Excerpt: Eden was a gentle boy, a little slow, a little sleepy, his mother's favorite. He wasn't as bold as his brother Osbert, or as timid as his brother Bon, or as quick and fiery as his little sister Vangeline. Eden, their mother said, had a long fuse.
Even on other planets, it's hard to escape the gravity of oppressive systems designed to maintain an unequal balance of power. On colony worlds the available solutions are often the same as here on Earth: keep your head down and let the pressure crush you slowly over years or lash out. The characters in this story do both, and the exploration of these choices make for a painful, but satisfying tale.