Literary Listings: 10 Bad Ass Tor.Com Short Stories

We all have a bit of bad-ass-ness in us. I am a firm believer that within every single human being there is the potential for some magical, fantastical bad-ass stuff to go on. Where am I going with this? Well, now and then, I come across a novel or two that supports my theory. Then I hit the mother-load, I hit, Tor.Com.

Tor.Com is an engaging website that promotes independent short stories with a science fiction, fantasy twist. I became addicted to the website in no time and was reading stories on their website and clogging my Amazon account with their download. At 0.99 cents a pop, how can you refuse? So enjoy my little choice of the most bad-ass stories on Tor.Com!

10 Bad Ass Tor.Com Short Stories:

Beauty Belongs To The Flowers by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Tor.Com Description: In Miho’s world, nanos, plastic surgery, and robot girlfriends can fix just about anything — or break it.

3 Page Turns: Thoroughly engaging! I was so sad when it I finished and promptly went looking for other stories by the author.

The Horrid Glory of Its Wings by Elizabeth Bear

Tor.Com Description: There’s a harpy with bronze wings living in the dumpster behind Desiree’s building. She’s ugly and she eats garbage, but she has a little kingdom back there. Desiree wants something of her own, too — something all hers.

3 Page Turns: Great concept, though, the execution was a bit muddled, but that adds to the melancholy and loneliness of the piece. Let me know what you think of this!

The Cage by A. M. Dellamonica

Tor.Com Description: The eerie thing about Paige Adolpha wasn’t how she turned up right when I was reading about her in the paper. What brought on the gooseflesh, first time I saw her, was she’s the spitting image of her murdered identical twin.

5 Page Turns: To be brief, this is a comedic tale that had me in stitches long after I had completed it. My favourite so far.

The Palencar Project

Tor.Com Description: Five original stories written by L. E. Modessit, Jr., Gene Wolfe, James Morrow, Michael Swanwick, and Gregory Benford. All of them inspired by one John Jude Palencar painting.

4 Page Turns: What makes this series so grand is the masterful way the different authors wrote their stories, making each tale a unique gem.

The Rotten Beast by Mary Pearson

Tor.Com Description: The computer chips inside you insist that you’re human.

4 Page Turns: Initially drawn to the cover, The Rotten Beast is a prequil to the Jenna Fox Chronicles which I most definitely, have to read now.  It’s an engaging and angsty story that blurs the line between what is good and bad in bioethics.

A Memory Of Wind by Rachel Swirsky

Tor.Com Description: After Helen and her lover Paris fled to Troy, her husband King Menelaus called his allies to war. They prepared to sail for Troy, but they could not depart, for there was no wind. Kings Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Odysseus consulted with Calchas, a priest of Artemis, who revealed that the angered goddess was balking their departure. She wanted a sacrifice.

5 Page Turns: This was my first Tor.Com story. Swirsky writes with such an engaging style, the prose in this story is something that can’t be beat. Riddled with metaphors, readers get to know Iphigenia in her last days.

Shtetl Days by Harry Turtledove

Tor.Com Description: Veit and Kristi are true professionals. They know the dead languages, the turns of phrase, the prayers, the manners, the food. But now they’re beginning to learn what happens when you immerse yourself long enough in something real.

3 Page Turns: I can’t even say what drew me to this one. I can say that the story raises questions on masks, identity and to what extent, we as humans, fabricate this identity and what is made for us.

Men Who Wish To Drown by Elizabeth Fama

Tor.Com Description: Cited as the only extant firsthand record of a mermaid encounter in New England waters, this deathbed letter from a great-grandfather to his great-grandson is more likely an instructive fiction.

4 Page Turns: Who doesn’t like mermaids? This despairing tale is a cautionary tale on the dangers of our dreams and imaginations.

The Witch Of Duva by Leigh Bardugo

Tor.Com Description: There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls… or so the story goes. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel, Shadow and Bone.

5 Page Turns: I love Bardugo’s writing style! I am a huge folklore fan, and to see a story so artfully woven, made my heart skip some beats.

The City Quiet As Death by Michael Bishop and Steven Utley

Tor.Com Description: Between the incessant music of the stars and the spectre of a giant squid caught inside a locket ball, it is difficult for Don Horacio to maintain a restful mind.

3 Page Turns: The strength of this story is its unique setting (how many fantasy/sci-fi stories are set in the Caribbean?) and it’s quirky strange protagonist.

I’d love to know what everyone things of publishers such as Tor.Com and these stories!

-Claire

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About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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5 Responses to Literary Listings: 10 Bad Ass Tor.Com Short Stories

  1. Pingback: Book By Its Cover: Tor.Com | Bitches With Books

  2. Pingback: 15 Day Book Challenge: Day 11 | Bitches With Books

  3. HMShankman says:

    I loved “Shtetl Days!” It really gave me chills. (I should mention here that my parents are Holocaust survivors.) The idea that people could appreciate a pariah culture enough to quietly take it on themselves was very powerful to me.

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