Size / Zoom

Our 350th Issue! A special double-issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month 6, featuring three bonus stories and science-fantasy cover art “Ancient Ones” by Jose Borges.

At the Foot of the Dragon Stair

Thanh Lan wanted the order back. She wanted her home back. She wanted to be sitting in the kitchens again, listening to Mei go on and on. She wanted to have those barbed, frustrating conversations with Abbess Linh about the order's mission. And she knew she wasn't ever going to get any of that, but she could get something else: the satisfaction of saving the life of the order who had saved her own life.

Thanh Lan walked to the door, legs shaking.
A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised

I led Pilot Uma on the circuitous route through the spaceport that I had taken the morning Nina and I came upon the Grand Faerie Lord. [Addition: There were more direct routes. However, from reading my great grandmother’s records, I theorized that our search for the Faerie was based not so much on the location, but on the path one followed.] [Revision: I was correct.]

I returned to the path in the spaceport gardens where I had first found the Grand Faerie Lord.
It Never Was

Trist reared back. “No!” She might be trapped by the ancient rules of the hunt, but she would not have them say she had asked for it. “I didn’t call you. There’s nothing I’m so desperate to be free of that I’d take the chance of faltering during a ride.”

The wild hunt finally slowed enough for Trist to pick out the riders and their metal mounts.
Empty Appendages

Three times he has seen it now, a spindle-limbed silhouette. In its general shape, it resembles his own appendage—it has two arms, two legs and one head—but there is something deeply unnatural about the way it moves. Each time Harwen pursued it, the creature vanished into the scrub. He fears it is an omen; a signal that his calm existence cannot last forever.

Harwen faces toward himself and suppresses a shudder.
To People Who’d Never Known Good

Without realizing it, I grabbed at Mama’s sleeve, the way I used to when I was younger and our shuttle hit some unmapped debris or popped a fuse unexpectedly. It was the kind of reflexive gesture that didn’t mean much, but the stare Mama sent over her shoulder as she shook me off was severe and unmistakable.

The Prospect Pig gave a prolonged chuckle, and he fixed on me for a while in particular.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
At the Foot of the Dragon Stair

Podcast: Download (Duration: 39:25 — 27.07MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Thanh Lan walked to the door, legs shaking.
Audio Vault:

Podcast: Download (Duration: 36:54 — 25.34MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Introduced by the author, in an interview conducted and engineered by M.K. Hobson, discussing the story’s inspirations from inter-generational political attitudes in families of immigrants and patriarchal culture and how its use of science-fantasy elements shaped its presentation.
From the Archives:
She had never imagined that she—the greatest scryer of her generation—could be lied to and tricked by her own husband.