Mary Soon Lee

Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. She writes both fiction and poetry, and has won the Rhysling Award and the Elgin Award. Her credits include Analog, F&SF, and Strange Horizons. She has an antiquated website at https://www.marysoonlee.com and tweets at @MarySoonLee.
How to Speak to Pluto

How to Speak to Pluto

Address him as Sir or Pluto,never by minor-planet designation. Avoid the terms planet or dwarf;he is more than his classification. Ask after his moons, their moods,his long slow dance with Neptune. Listen more than you speak,respecting his age, his orbits. His views...

How to Fly by Neptune

How to Fly by Neptune

Do not taste his magnetosphere,his tilted manipulationsof hapless particles. Do not behold his dusty rings,their shepherd moons,their dark arcs. Do not descend close enoughto sense the inner heatbeneath his storms. Remember the gravity of his crime,why the Sun...

How to Paint Mercury

How to Paint Mercury

Permit him to pirouette,spinning as you paint. Capture his contrasts.Hammered heat, hidden ice. Sketch his expression,capricious, captivating. Do not erase his scars,the craters of a survivor. Remembering his history,be patient with his moods. Tell him he’s closestto...

Monster: Puppeteer

The splintered scrape of broken bone, forced to and fro across sharp stone. No one to see, no one to care how slowly died the desert hare. No accident, no slip, no trip, its mind caught in a monster’s grip. Six-eyed, six-mouthed, the monster foul controlled each...

Treebound

When you are done with wizardry, when each breath wearies you: choose your ground; consider the ways of water, of root, branch, bark. After bending the world to your will, after waging war for kings: choose your final form; willow, or oak, or larch; shape the spell....

Not Like This

Not like this, it wasn’t meant to be like this: rain, wind, water, night, King Xau staggering out of the churning river beside a staggering, stricken horse, the horse’s foreleg spurting blood, skin hanging in ribbons; Atun examining the mare by wavering torchlight,...

Training: Endurance

In humid heat, up and down a low hill along a goat track, carrying shield and sword, sweating, ran King Xau, his guard Li at his side. Another town burnt. Nothing Xau could do. Stationed along the way, his other seven guards and twenty of his cavalrymen (horseless,...

Brighid

Six years old, youngest of the demon’s servants, didn’t cry when the king roused her after the demon’s death; nor when, an hour later, she remembered the cut-off scorched scream her dad gave, aflame; nor when, towards evening, a fishmonger recognized her and offered...

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