I haven’t done much cross stitching the last few months due to various reasons so to make up for that here’s some writerly things from the last few months!
"Even Robots Learn" at Strange Horizons - SFFnal poem - aromanticism & amatonormativity in fiction and life
I am the prologue, a symptom. See:
aliens turn sympathetic when moonstruck;
the villain is redeemed via softened heart
or a flashback to before loss broke it;
grouches get coaxed into caring then dating;
brutal monsters are people too, if they love
properly, since friendship is just a stopgap;
the frigid bitch, proven flawed, is thawed;
and of course even robots inevitably learn
what is this thing as they are humanised.
"Zenith’s Wake" at Mirror Dance - 9,400 word fantasy story - disaster, grief, poly & queer & long-distance relationships, stress, homesickness, magic.
Gizem is here and it is tempting to ask, as though a simple intimacy might be a short-cut to coping, if she’d rub her back. Agathe could imagine Daphnen were here rather than thousands of kilometres away and too busy to talk. She likes Gizem already; it wouldn’t be a far jump from friend to crutch. Yet Agathe has never seen a proxy relationship end well and she’ll likely be months in Istapor with little ability to evade awkwardness and Gizem when it goes sour. And she does like her. Too much to do such a thing.
Yet also too much to avoid curling up next to her and the temptations that invites.
"Love Over Glass, Skin Under Glass" in Heiresses of Russ 2014: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction - 3,800 word fantasy/romance story - queer & bdsm & destructive & platonic relationships, self-discovery, magic, creepiness.
She watched her apprentice grow in glass-mastery and watched her glee when she writhed under her grasp. The glass-smith found herself content if not happy, found for herself purpose if not keenness. The nights when the apprentice fell asleep with a smile, the moments when they seemed to connect rather than coincide, the mornings when the glass-smith did not mind waiting for the apprentice to wake up and untie or roll off her: they aroused in her something.
But her skin did not squeak, her touch did not thrill.