Three awesome stories for you this Sunday.
How the Milkmaid Struck a Bargain With the Crooked One by C.S.E. Cooney (in Giganotosaurus). Gaaaah, this story made me have all the feelings. It’s long, but it’s SO worth it – what a treat to sink into a world like this. (Incidentally, it’s a sequel of sorts to The Last Sophia, which I believe I’ve recced here previously.) A gorgeous, detailed fairytale retelling with cool worldbuilding, a great first-person narrator, and gorgeous language. And rhymes! Basically: everything about this story is amazing.
Icarus Falls by Alex Shvartsman (in Daily Science Fiction). An aging protagonist suffering from memory loss – this story of space travel and a mother-daughter relationship is sad but in a very beautiful way.
Zugzwang by Curtis C. Chen (also in DSF). A middle-aged woman is challenged to a game of alien chess to save the crew of a spaceship. This story could’ve been bleak, but instead it made me happy and hopeful.