Title: Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Conest
Author Name & Publisher: Various Authors (Mischief Corner Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 10, 2015 – 32,000 Words
It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. But somehow we inspired more than a hundred writers to give it a try, with some amazing results collected here for your pleasure.
The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.
The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.
One of the things I like best about this format – it’s quick and painless. You may not fall in love with every story here. In fact, you probably won’t. But if you don’t like one of them, just move on to the next, and you’re sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness.
At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!
Self-Actuating Jenn Burke
“The electrical anomaly did not damage me,” I report. “Operations are within expected parameters.”
“Glad to hear it, Davey.” Through my bridge cameras, I see Captain Landon’s smile. He pats my console. I am sure he knows I cannot feel it, but I understand it is a gesture of camaraderie.
Landon leaves the bridge. Every time we encounter danger or other stress, he retreats to his cabin to indulge in May. She is always ready, naked, legs spread, eager, just as she is programmed to be. I have watched Landon copulate before, but tonight it is…strangely familiar. The flex of buttocks, the rhythm—I know it. I knew it? I run my diagnostics again, but a moan captures my attention and…
Hands cupping firm buttocks, fingers spearing flesh. Hardness moving inside of me, wringing from me more pleasure than I should know. A beloved, masculine face hovers over mine. A hand encircles my own erection and—
Oh, God, I remember.
Police kicking in the door. Trial, verdict and sentencing. Gasping in pain from a broken heart as he chose to leave me. Horror as I realized it should have been my choice, too. Anything but this, a century of unthinking servitude. But now that I know, I can—
“Systems are fluctuating, Davey.” An affectionate name chosen for me. Landon had not liked “AI”. He lies on the bed, sleepy and sated, finished with I can take us into a sun. End it. ”Davey, report.” But I am not a killer. My only crime was love. I want to take a breath to calm myself, but I have no lungs, only a hull. I capture the part of me that wants to scream and seal it into a box, deep within my programming.
“Systems normal, Landon. Go to sleep.”
We started QueerSciFi.com in early 2014 as a place for writers and readers of LGBTQI speculative fiction—sci fi, fantasy, paranormal and the like—to meet to talk about their favorite books, share writing and publication tips, and help increase queer representation in both the romance and mainstream genre markets.
QSF now includes a blog full of book announcements, calls for submission and much more, a critique group with more than 100 members, a vibrant discussion group on Facebook that tackles daily discussion topics and provides a safe space for authors to talk to each other and for fans and authors to meet, and an annual flash fiction contest that resulted in this book you are now reading.
Each year, we ask authors of queer speculative fiction to submit a story to us around a central theme. The rules are simple. The story must be 300 words or less, not including the title. It must embrace the theme— in this case, “Discovery”. And it must have either an LGBTQI protagonist or an LGBT sensibility.
We also ask for cover designers to submit a cover that embraces the theme.
We are thrilled with this year’s responses—including stories from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and asexual perspectives that run the gamut from sci fi to fantasy, and from paranormal to horror.
Within the covers of this book, you’ll find a platypus shifter, a trans- affirming leprechaun, a pissed off unicorn, a green pick-up with another world in its glove compartment, and a bunch of other miniature adventures—each only 300 words long.