Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl’s steampunk alternate history Everfair was a 2016 Nebula Award finalist, and their 2008 collection Filter House won a James Tiptree, Jr. Award. In the previous year their stories have appeared on the sites of Slate Magazine and Tor.com, in small press anthologies Clockwork Cairo and Sunvault, and as part of the most recent volume of Harpercollins’s The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series, among other venues. They live in Seattle, taking frequent walks with their mother and their cat.

The Best Friend We Never Had

Josie stared hard at the woman standing just outside the connecting hose’s exit. The expandable tubing she walked through was well-insulated, but for most of its length dimmer even than her ship had been. Still, though the light bleeding in from the exit to Mizar 5’s concourse dazzled Josie’s eyes, this woman’s face looked unexpectedly familiar. Not the wig, though.

Queen of Dirt

Brit lowered her wooden sword and sighed. She loved her students. But the girls kept hesitating, getting hung up on the moves, lagging behind. The three boys in the class of nine had stayed with her through the form, but when they thought she wasn’t looking they whaled at the ground with their weapons like taiko drummers. Could they be any more clichéd?