Each year small press editors and itty bitty publishers like myself get to nominate work they’ve published for the Pushcart Prize. This year I am pleased to nominate the following stories:
- “Light Chaser, Dark Hunter” by Joseph Halden
The sheer-faced mountains surrounding our lands hold a bright halo of light above everything. In the ruined grey-black of the sky, there is but a narrow gap where the light can shine without being hindered by either dense smog or the tall peaks. On the treelines of the encircling mountains, heliostat mirrors reflect sunlight onto crops far below. They are the only way we can stay alive in our otherwise dark-walled nook, but this life is far better than the world outside.
- “Tia Time” by Kevin Cockle
The water glass did what glass does when it’s dropped from a sufficient height onto concrete: scatter shattered pieces, making an unpleasant noise in the process. I held Mike’s gaze as he smiled, still ankle-cuffed to his chair, still suspending his glass-gripping hand in mid air for effect. I heard my security detail come to def-con 4 across the dimly lit room behind me, but I didn’t give them the “go” signal. This was showmanship on Mike’s part, not aggression. I had decided to let this play out.
- “A Night in the Philosopher’s Cave” by Candas Jane Dorsey
She woke in the usual darkness, alerted by the click of claws on rock and the sound of her own breath. Took her sword tiredly from its scabbard.
“Are you finally ready?” said a tired voice from the corner.
“Again?” she said. “Again?”
“Yes, again. Are you ready?”
“Why don’t we do this in the light this time?” she said, and from the other corner heard a chuckle.
“Because I am a being of the darkness beyond the darkness of the pit,” said the voice.
“Oh, don’t eat that, city boy,” she said, “it’s horseshit.”
These, and several other amazing stories can be found in the Hear Me Roar anthology which came out this September.
There are no damsels in distress here!
A city guard in a world where sunlight is the greatest currency must choose between what’s done and what’s right when she meets a woman from the other side of the wall who’s caring for a strange brood. A teen girl is inducted into a secret society that slays mythological creatures. A woman and her daughter compete in a race where dragons pull chariots. A very special librarian guards a very special hoard. These and other stories of dragons and empowered women (and empowered women dragons!) fill the pages of this anthology.
Featuring stories by Krista D. Ball, Kevin Cockle, M.L.D. Curelas, Aurora B. C. Donev, Jennifer R. Donohue, Candas Jane Dorsey, Megan Engelhardt, Joseph Halden, Blake Jessop, Gwen C. Katz, Amanda Kespohl, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Stephanie Lorée, Damascus Mincemeyer, JB Riley and Laura VanArendonk Baugh.