Short Fiction Monday

I've added a new site to those I download each week to my ereader (using Calibre and the RSS feed): Weird Fiction Review. I've been following the site since it launched, but I found that I was getting overwhelmed with the amount of new content some weeks, so I'm hoping to be able to keep up with it more conveniently this way, though it does mean I'll typically be reading it a week or even two after things are posted.

So today's recommended story comes from Weird Fiction Review: "Watcher" by Leena Likitalo. Part of the enjoyment of the story is the realization of how it all fits together, so I won't say too much about it. But it gives the story from the perspectives of a trio of creatures, one of numerous rodents, one of several butterfly-people, and the watcher from the title. The perversely dark image of the wind-torn, miserable butterfly people is especially striking.

Also worth reading is CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan's "Steam Dancer (1896)" in Lightspeed. It's a reprint, one I'd seen the title of in some anthology or best-of list (already a reprint for that, I'm pretty sure), but hadn't read yet. It's a steampunk story that takes place in the American West. Missouri Banks, the dancer of the title, lost some limbs to illness years ago and now has steam-powered replacements. The story manages to avoid both whizz-bang silliness and dour gloom in showing us her life and love as a dancer.