New: The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available
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“Held Close in Syllables of Light,” by Rose Lemberg
Abruptly his stronghold folded. His names struck. He tore my mind-veil off. Before I could react, the names retreated, reformed his stronghold. All too powerful for me. He laughed. “The Raker’s daughter has taken a single two-syllable. Women, huh. Weaker even than your mother. So be more sensible than her, sweet Vendelin....”
“To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift,” by Dean Wells
Cecily grabbed a shard from the mirror, traced an unsteady line along the flesh of her wrist. Scars and metal piercings adorned her arms where she’d cut herself before. “They demand the spilling of blood,” Granduncle would always say, when he bothered to notice her at all. “They envy us, you see, and covet the iron flowing freely in our veins.”
“The Magick,” by Kristina C. Mottla, from BCS #78
Was she, Elna, depraved, as the book said? Was Parn? Parn had never an angry word for Elna, not even a scowl, not for anyone; how was that depravity? And what did her parents believe? Parn thought her parents would conceal her, protect her, defend her, but Elna feared otherwise.
“Beloved of the Sun,” by Ann Leckie, from BCS #54
I had seen the image in the Zuxugo girl’s cloak, in the basketful of butterflies she had brought, but those had been stylized and lifeless. These butteflies were alive, brown, with one wide, staring eye on each upper wing. They didn’t fly straight as the hawk would have, but bobbed and circled, haphazard. Their wings were far more delicate than any gold or stone image could depict.