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Short Stories


No Humans Allowed"The Scent of Murder" in No Humans Allowed, ed. John Helfers; Science Fiction

The Terran captain of a trading ship has suffered a catastrophic fluid rupture and died while docked at an Yzantris station. Thinker of Useful Ideas Yazvoras is on a deadline to figure out who murdered the human before the Terran ambassador claims the crime scene and has it removed. The time limit is completely unreasonable, but aliens are often incomprehensible. And as the Yzantris say, the world is.

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Tempest"A Tangle of Truths" in Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar, ed. Mercedes Lackey; Fantasy

Herald Arvil is representing his Queen at a noble baby's birthday party, which should be a fairly easy duty. But during the party, multiple schemes and resentments collide and snarl, and nearly cost the birthday baby his life.

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Last Stand"Bury My Son at Home" in Last Stand, ed. Dean Wesley Smith and Felicia Fredlund; Science Fiction

In the wake of a horrendous battle waged between galactic powers, the women of an out-of-the-way planet are left to dig their sons and fathers and husbands and brothers out of the blood soaked soil, determined to take them home for burial.

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Haunted"The Ghost of Station Four" in Haunted, ed. Kerrie Hughes; Ghost/Paranormal

Cheryl moved half way across the country with her three children to get away from an ex-boyfriend who won't take no for an answer. Finally, they can settle down, relax, and get back to a normal life without looking over their shoulders or peering out windows. But nothing is ever that easy.

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Alien Artifacts"Me and Alice" in Alien Artifacts, ed. Josh Palmatier and Patricia Bray; Science Fiction

Alice is my pet toad. She was dad's pet before she was mine, and she's really old for a toad. She hasn't been feeling very well lately, though, and nothing seems to help. I'm not feeling so great either, mostly because I know I should stay and take care of her, but there's nothing to do but watch her sit there in her tank. I go goof around for a while -- feeling kind of guilty the whole time -- and find a weird thing that might change everything.

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Crucible"Ghosts of the Past" in Crucible: All-New Tales of Valdemar, ed. Mercedes Lackey; Fantasy

Four people have vanished into the woods near the village of Rabbit Hole -- gone with no sign, no body, nothing at all left. Herald Arvil heads into the woods to figure out what's happened to them and stop it. He fights through his own fear to get to whatever's been taking people, only to find himself trapped in his own past.

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Hidden in Crime"O Best Beloved" in Hidden in Crime, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch; Historical Crime

Marceau the Potter sinned for many years before God chose to reveal him. His wife is upstairs in the middle of a long and hard labor, and when the babe is born, Marceau's secret will be revealed to everyone.

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Recycled Pulp"Crypt of the Metal Ghouls" in Recycled Pulp, ed. John Helfers; Science Fiction

Seventeen-year-old Keesh and her friends make their living scavenging rare materials and the occasional bit of old tech in a ravaged world. In a nearby ruined city, where no one's gone since the plague swept through generations back, there's one building that still stands unwrecked and unlooted. What's inside could set them up for the rest of their lives, if they survive the expedition.

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Alchemy and Steam"The Rites of Zosimos" in Alchemy and Steam, ed. Kerrie Hughes; Steampunk/Mystery

A naked, boiled body has turned up in the stableyard of the Universita Hermetica. Sir Peter Estridge can't imagine why anyone would choose such an unwieldy way of murdering someone, but he's been assigned to figure it out, along with Lady Catherine Morwood, a Grande Dame among alchemists and a Dean at the university. Their investigations lead them deep into classical alchemical lore, and into the divide between two schools of thought within the craft.

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Year's Best Crime and Mystery Stories 2016"The Rites of Zosimos" is also in The Year's Best Crime and Mystery Stories 2016, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and John Helfers

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2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide"A Smelly Problem" in The 2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, ed. Corie and Sean Weaver; Science Fiction

Developing a talent is something every teenager looks forward to. Will it be useful? Will it be powerful? Most important, will it be cool? The worst thing Cody Markham can imagine is to be a neuter, someone without a talent -- until he discovers he can make people smell things. Seriously, that's it?? Cody'd rather let the kids at school think he's a neuter than be called "Stinky" for the rest of his life. Until one day at school, his talent comes in handy, and no one has to know. But of course it can't be that easy, right?

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How to Save the World"Staying Afloat" in How to Save the World, ed. John Helfers; Science Fiction

For ten months each year, the Mexican altiplano is drenched with rain. Flats flood and slopes are washed away. Professor Paula Casillas searches for new ways of keeping crops alive, fighting the floods and the sliding hillsides. Nothing is working, nothing that would be cheap enough for the small farmers to use, until a weekend with her grandfather, a not-quite-retired farmer, gives her an idea -- a very old idea.

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Loosed Upon the World"Staying Afloat" is also in Loosed Upon the World, ed. John Joseph Adams

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Debut Writers' Showcase"Staying Afloat" is also in Fiction River Presents: Debut Writers' Showcase ed. Allyson Longueira

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