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The sword of time will pierce our skin - Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth
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ex_benpayne119
The sword of time will pierce our skin

The Dream People is an irregular surreal webzine. The Royal Marriage Hits a Small Obstruction by Dale Houstman is an enjoyable short-short. It would be pointless to try to summarise the plot. The fun of the piece lies in its entrancing stream-of-consciousness patter. 

Similarly enjoyable was Rhys Hughes's The City That Was Itself. The story begins; "You have probably never heard of Itselfia, the city that evokes only itself", and it comprises a traveler's telling of his visit to a city whose geography and streets make no reference to anything but itself. It's a slightly mind-bending, but engaging and enjoyable tale.

Another couple of online stories I enjoyed are also free to read, this time at The Endicott Studio. The Princess and the Ghost by Jessie Suk Roy is an enjoyable retelling of maiden-in-a-tower fairy-tales, short but poignant and well written.

Will Shetterly's Thief of Dreams, similarly, is a short, engagingly-written fable, of a king whose dreams are stolen, and his search for the thief. The twist at the end of the tale is clever and apt, and it was a fun read.

From the more traditional venues, I enjoyed Ekaterina Sedia's story Virus Changes Skin in October's Analog. It's the story of a scientist in near-future earth, working to save the planet while also trying to come to terms with her own skin, altered by her parents when she was a child. The parallels drawn between the two situations are well-drawn, and it's a thoughtful, intelligent story.

And from the October/November double issue of Asimovs, I enjoyed Robert Reed's story Night Calls. It's a fascinatingly detailed alternate world where science rules over religions, and it depicts one man's conflicts, within himself and with those around him, and their relationship to intellect and less tangible forces. The world-building is great, the novellette length races along, and the characters are engaging.

All worth checking out.

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