Speculative fiction is so rich. There are times when I believe science fiction or fantasy can say more about the human condition than can fiction without speculative elements. Perhaps it is in the juxtaposition of the real and the unreal that the human condition shines all the more, as with darkness contrasting to the light.
At any rate, here are a few of my favorite things.
Tor.com has released a new story by K.M. Ferebee. This gorgeous fantasy tale glows with imagery of wintertime and of dreams of wolves in the dark. Like most of my favorite yarns, there's a twist that appears late like a figure on the horizon.
The story is called "Tom, Thom." The author is someone I look up to. Women have strong voices in short speculative fiction, too! The artwork for this piece is also exquisite.
Silverthought is the first market to ever purchase and publish my short fiction. It holds a special place in my heart and is the place where I happened upon this gem by Shona Snowden called "Puppy Love." This is my kind of horror story. Talk about contrast. Anyone who can frighten you with a puppy is a true wizard.
I suppose to be fair I need to list a science fiction piece. I'll offer "The Promse of Touch" by Stephen Mohan, Jr., which I discovered in Ideomancer. Is a story written from the point of view of man's best friend, sci-fi or fantasy? Who is to say that dogs don't "talk" to each other? At any rate, this near-future tale has enough science in it for me to humbly label it sci-fi for our purposes here, at least.