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Previous SFF Author: M. John Harrison

SFF Author: Alix E. Harrow

Alix E. Harrow, a retired FanLit reviewer, is now a part-time historian with a full-time desk job, a lot of opinions, and excessive library fines. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Apex, and other venues. She and her husband live in Kentucky under the cheerful tyranny of their kids and pets. Find her at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE STORIES BY ALIX E. HARROW.



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The Ten Thousand Doors of January: Go read it now

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January (2019), by Alix E. Harrow, is one of the most beautiful books you will read in 2019. It may be one of the most beautiful books you’ll read in your lifetime. When I say it’s beautiful, I don’t simply mean the prose and the imagery, although those both are gorgeous. I mean that this is a beautiful story. The journey of January Scaller, set against the USA’s Long Gilded Age,


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The Once and Future Witches: Rage, beauty, and sisterhood

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Our Daddy never taught us shit, except what a fox teaches chickens — how to run, how to tremble, how to outlive the bastard — and our mama died before she could teach us much of anything. But we had Mama Mags, our mother’s mother, and she didn’t fool around with soup-pots and flowers.

Once upon a time there were three sisters, in a world where women’s magic was outlawed and driven underground. They had to battle an evil man and rediscover their own power,


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Starling House: A dark fantasy set in a vividly depicted realist world

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

Starling House is the central mystery of Eden, Kentucky. Eden is a company town, and that company is Gravely Power, who provides energy to a wide swathe of the southeast. They also poison the air, soil and water of Eden. Periodically the government imposes fines, and the Gravelys pay them and move on. Starling House is an isolated mansion in the woods, close to an abandoned mine shaft that goes deep into the earth. There is less “history” about Starling House than there are rumors, and Opal,


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SHORTS: Anderson, Harrow, Beagle, Baldwin, Lechler

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about.

“Das Steingeschöpf” by G.V. Anderson (Dec. 2016, free at Strange Horizons)

“Das Steingeschöpf,” or the “Stone Creation (or Creature),” is set in Europe in 1928, where the aftermath of WWI mingles with foreshadowings of the Holocaust. A young German, Herr Hertzel, tells of his trip from Berlin to Bavaria, on his first assignment as a journeyman to repair a living,


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SHORTS: Harrow, Kemper, Kowal, Lawrence

“Do Not Look Back, My Lion” by Alix E. Harrow (2019, free in Beyond Ceaseless Skies, Issue #270, Jan. 31, 2019; 99c Kindle magazine issue)

“Do Not Look Back, My Lion,” begins and ends with Eefa leaving home — she cannot bear to see her daughters and wife march to war any longer, is tired of her wife’s promises that this child (and this child and that child) will be the last marked at birth for service in the Emperor’s endless armies, is tired of being the only worshipper in the lonely Temple of Life while the Temple of Death’s “floor is gummed with the blood of hens and calves and the air is heavy with char.” Eefa,


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SHORTS: Harrow, Greenblatt, Larson, Schoen

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read that we wanted you to know about, including three 2018 Nebula nominees.

“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow (2018, free at Apex magazine, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue). 2018 Nebula nominee (short story).

Our narrator is both a librarian and a witch (all good librarians are, she claims), and one of her joys is giving library patrons the book they “need most.” So when the black teenager with the red backpack comes into the Maysville Public Library,


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SHORTS: Clark, Wijeratne & Virdi, Harrow, Iriarte

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. This week’s column features more of the 2018 Nebula award-nominated novelettes and short stories.

“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djeli Clark (Feb 2018, free at Fireside magazine). 2018 NEBULA AWARD WINNER, 2019 LOCUS AWARD WINNER (short story)

P. Djeli Clark takes the historical idea of George Washington’s teeth (not wooden, as lore has it) and creates around them a series of vignettes detailing, as the title tells us,


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SHORTS: More Hugo and Locus Award finalists

In this week’s SHORTS column we wrap up our reviews of most of the 2021 Locus and Hugo award finalists in the novelette and short story categories.

“50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know” by Ken Liu (2020, free at Uncanny magazine)

One eventually gets the list the titles implies, but first the story opens with an obituary of the list’s author — “WHEEP-3 (‘Dr. Weep’), probably the most renowned AI AI-critic of the last two decades.” The obit explains how WHEEP was created/trained by Dr.


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Next SFF Author: Aidan Harte
Previous SFF Author: M. John Harrison

We have reviewed 8284 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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