The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available
“Calibrated Allies,” by Marissa Lingen
And to my shock, they did apologize–some of them not bothering to feign sincerity, but it was clear to them that the turn of the tide was against them, and they must pretend I was not a slave but a person for just a bit, just long enough to satisfy the sensibilities of the others. I made note of which these were, to be careful of them from then on.
“The Lady of the Lake,” by E. Catherine Tobler
This task had not been set to us but to him. How long might one live if they denied a god? Susanoo could not drown me in these waters, nor could a blade pierce my heart, but he commanded all of Yomi, and what tortures he might devise there I did not wish to know.
“The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Her Field-General, and Their Wounds,” by Seth Dickinson, from BCS #85
She leaves the concubine boy sprawled against the parapet and turns to the estuary, so that he falls on her right and vanishes from awareness. She knows he is still there, of course; she is not touched. But she cannot make herself know it, cannot make herself grasp that he still exists. Her mind insists that he has been snatched away, drawn off-stage.
“Kreisler’s Automata,” by Matthew David Surridge, from BCS #10
The Prodigy scampered forward at once and sat before the pipe organ’s keyboards. Kreisler was with him. Together they began to play, calling the automata back to their city. Just as we had planned. And I, I ran after the Clockwork King, driven, as ever, by the thought of Olympia. For I had more that I would know.