The "I'd Ship That" Sippy
for Excellent Relationships in Short SFF
That's right, it's all about relationships today. I'm a sucker for a good love story, but not all of the stories below are happily-ever-afters. Indeed, a good relationship is one that's messy, that's complex. That's alive. These are stories with relationships at their hearts, and that do a damn fine job of showing people trying to find in each other a great many things: forgiveness, escape, redemption, acceptance. And these are the stories that I picked out as containing my favorite relationships.
THE BIG SIP:
"Geometries of Belonging" by R.B. Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies - October) (My Review)
This story features a deeply complex relationship between Parét and his master, his lover, his partner. The two men are older, and it's quite refreshing to see a mature relationship, one that has been through so much, complicated even further in this story about being broken and not broken, about being unwell and about living with it. About war and submission and standing for what one believes in. And about love, and acceptance, and change. It's a long story, with a great setting and a living feel to it. I definitely want more. So much more.
THE REGULAR SIPS:
"The Price You Pay is Red" by Carlie St. George (The Book Smugglers - November) (My Review)
Oh mans I really liked the central relationship between Jimmy and Hank. That Jimmy is sort of an idiot about it and selfish and how slowly they learn how to be together. This is the second story and my favorite, full of declarations and pain and broken dreams. Luckily there's another story after that brings the pair to a bit happier place, but this is the one that really sold me.
"Occidental Bride" by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Clarkesworld - September) (My Review)
The relationship between Kerrtu and Heilui is a complicated one, filled with betrayals and pasts that both women are running from. I love this story for how if flips tropes and for how artfully it builds a story on many levels, but one of the strongest aspects is the relationship between these two women, how they overcome the past to create a future for themselves.
"Infinite Skeins" by Naru Dames Sundar (Crossed Genres - August) (My Review)
This story focuses a bit on the relationship between a mother and her lost child, but also the relationship between two women bound by their loss. It's about missed opportunities and about finding out (perhaps too late) what becoming too focused on loss can mean. But through that it's also about not giving up and trying in the face of overwhelming odds to make things right.
"Nothing is Pixels Here" by K.M. Spzara (Lightspeed - June) ( My Review)
A very interesting story about a relationship that is strained by perceived reality, about two men finding the truth for themselves, not buying into some objective "reality" that defines them. Rejecting that, they find a way to define themselves, to find comfort and truth in their love, in their arms and their mouths and their hearts.