- “Kingdom by the Sea” by Amy Parker – I was lucky enough to see an early draft of this story, a glorious, intense reimagining of Lolita. It’s like a literary vivisection, using scalpels historical, critical, fictional to slice away twitching layers of Humbert Humbert and extract a personal narrative for Dorothy Haze.
- “The Invention of Separate People” by Kevin Brockmeier – Kevin is one of our greatest living fantasists, and if you’ve never read him before it’s time to start. This story was originally published in Unstuck, and is about a world where people are themselves, yes, but also everyone else. Everyone is one person, until someone (everyone) begins to learn how to be separate.
- “Skin Suit” by Janalyn Guo – The main character is a lump of dark, amorphous matter that must wear taxidermied suits to appear human, but its parents are two planes of brilliant light, and it’s time for a family reunion.
- “Horror Story” by Carmen Machado – This time Carmen’s penned a creepy tale of crumbling relationships and haunted houses. Read it in the dark.
- “The Game of Smash and Recovery” by Kelly Link – It’s a Kelly Link story. That should be all you need to know, but I’ll add that this story is Kelly’s take on space opera, and dedicated to Iain M. Banks.
- “How A Wedding Party Survived Hurricane Patricia with Tequila, Pool Noodles, and More” by Tony Tulathimutte – Tony was in Mexico for a destination wedding that just happened to be in the path of the strongest hurricane ever recorded. Features people taping boogie boards over windows, playing dominoes because it’s the only game that won’t blow away in the wind, and a groom who decides to simply not believe in hurricanes.
- “The Ballad of Murder Eyez: In Germany with Syria’s Refugee Rapper” by Ben Mauk – A study of the recent history of Syria, as reflected in the life of the country’s first rap mogul, now displaced in Germany.
- “Ode, Her” by Knar Gavin