denotes free reads!
The news hits me like a blow and I drum with extra fine precision on the examination table
to deal with it. Pointer, Middling, Ring-a-Ling, Pinkerton.
Pointer, Middling, Ring-a-Ling, Pinkerton.
Good Times Come
"Half the snakes are poisonous, and the other half are not," Tash said.
"The Goddess alone decides who will live, be maimed, or die."
Super Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day!
ed. Alex Shvartsman, October 2014
Rocket was doing just fine up until the baby was born.
And now . . . OMG I don't even know. Have any of you dealt with kids who won't stop stretching?
Inventive and darkly funny.
-- Charles Payseur, Tangent Online
See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES!
Women Destroy SF! issue, June 2014. (flash)
The ad blinked at you online, between the x-ray glasses and the grainy picture of how to lose fourteen pounds
and get real wings, and you gave them your father's address, because your stepfather opens your mail.
The mix of the spontaneously weird and the brutally mundane makes this short piece a solid one.
It certainly was the bit of flash fiction that stuck with me most from the whole group.
It's only a few pages, but it only needs a few pages
to make its point delicately and with unflinching clarity.
-- Brit Mandelo, Tor.com
Miss Violet May from the Ten Thousand Lakes
25 February 2014. (flash)
All us fellas loved Miss Violet May, right from the start.
She came from the land of Twelve Thousand Lakes,
came click-clackin on the train from North to South till she met worthless
Sorry Joe Weevily, and he sweet-talked her into getting off and marrying him.
The Programmer and the Social Worker,
29 July 2013. (flash)
A Love Story about Feature Creep
He was the most expert programmer in the world,
and yet when his wife discovered the malignant stage 4 paraganglioma,
all that perl and C++ and knowledge of forked looped chain arrays could do nothing.
Old Dead Futures
17 July 2013
Some of the Best From Tor.com 2013,
5 November 2013
Mr. Henry and friends bring their fleshy machine with the wires and the waves
and set it up in the main room and make big pronouncements to Mother
about how it's for the good of the country.
"A disturbing story about painful choices and the trap of love held hostage."
-- Lois Tilton,
"The language Connolly uses to evoke this process is mystifying, horrific, and beautiful,
and manages to explore without explaining, describe without defining.
It's a beautiful and intricate process."
-- Carl Engle-Laird,
ed. Claude Lalumiere & Don Pizarro, Dagan Books, July 2013. (flash)
She touched him with one finger under his chin, and he felt it like a papercut.
A short, poetic story, woven through with myth and magic. ...
Mysterious and sad, this is an excellent little story.
-- Christopher Frost, Neon Magazine
#16, Fall 2012. (flash)
Sometimes the men throw yellow quince, hard as butternut squash, hard as stones.
Flash Bang Remember (with Caroline M. Yoachim)
Lightspeed, August 2012
about the story
Podcast at Starship Sofa,
15 Jan 2014, read by Diane Severson Mori
Red-haired Mother, with her sharp nose and freckled chest,
leaned over the hydroponics channel and declared that the dead plants
were Girl23's fault.
"I really liked "Flash Bang Remember" by Tina Connolly & Caroline M. Yoachim....
It's lightly told and engaging, with a YA feel,
and for all that there's a thoughtful core to the piece."
-- Rich Horton,
One Ear Back
Beneath Ceaseless Skies,
14 June 2012
Also available as audio at BCS, read by me!
My mother was cursed to live as a cat until she did a good deed that had never yet been done.
I have since heard of curses stranger, but this is the one that affected me,
for she was pregnant when the curse fell.
"This one fits roughly into the fairytale category, with transformative curses,
quests and tasks to be fulfilled.
But the interest is in the character of the cat and how she reacts to her circumstances --
what part of her is cat and what part is woman.
The ending is not quite what one would automatically expect, but better." -- Lois Tilton,
(Note: This story is a loose retelling of the Icelandic folk tale "Kisa the Cat".)
7 June 2012. (flash)
"Reward all you like," said Angel Samuel,
"But there's nothing better than old-fashioned fear."
Daily SF, 12 December 2011. (flash)
"I am he," he had said when they met,
and upon the word "he" had touched his shoulder with one brittle, blue-tinged hand.
That meant his name.
Bull Spec #6, Autumn 2011.
"Penny lives in some future world where people like her are stuck on a Bridge with many levels.
She sees other young people living in bubbles and thinks their life is better.
She tries to take care of her brothers so that their life is better than hers.
All this comes together for an imaginative and compelling story." -- Sam Tomaino,
"I liked Tina Connolly's 'Selling Home' best.
It is set on a tall structure where poor people live on the lower levels
while rich people live up higher.
The rich people have a fertility problem, which means that the struggling narrator
Penny is faced with a hard question:
what to do when a chance-met rich girl wants to buy her little brother?" -- Rich Horton,
END OF AN AEON, ed. Bridget and Marti McKenna,
In my mind, Sully is more beautiful than she could have been.
When all I have left are dry facts (she was dark, she existed),
I have to fill in the gaps.
Concretely piece her together in my mind, and I know I will get her wrong.
As We Report to Gabriel
Fantasy Magazine, 3 January 2011.
about the story
Eight days ago there was only me and Ten Motes.
The house was thick with quiet, rigorously anti-fairy, clean as my five polished pink toes.
"An original and quite charming story about fairies, set in a house
owned by a woman forced to renounce any interest in fairies for
political reasons, which is a problem given that she is married to
one. The telling is delightful and the depiction of the nature of
fairies is original and unexpected." -- Rich Horton,
Escape Artists bonus story
for forum members,
read by me, October 2010. (flash)
Toasted Cake #40,
1 October 2012. Still read by me.
Life repeats itself.
This is all we know, that out of the blackness of time there came strings of 1's and 0's. We were born in an explosion of quicksilver life. Our gods are dead now, moved on to newer worlds.
Only the game remains.
20 June 2010 (flash)
After Ever After,
24 August 2011
Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days,
ed. Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum and Alexander Lumans, Dec 2012,
Upper Rubber Boot Books
13 October 2013 (starts at 24:00)
Please affirm you have the necessary equipment: Scuba Gear.
Wetsuit, preferably your least favorite. One pound fresh produce, tightly bagged, state type___?
Long-cherished dream of co-worker, describe wistful imaginings___?
Zebedee the Giant Man
On Spec, Spring 2010 (flash)
Toasted Cake #92,
13 October 2013, read by me
Zebedee was eighteen feet tall, rough in thick olive tortua hide,
with massive calloused hands the size of wagon wheels.
Zebedee the Giant Man is a vignette that manages to convey the essence of a world
in two short pages. It's slim but compelling.
-- Tony Owens,
Child of Sunlight, Woman of Blood
Beneath Ceaseless Skies #31,
3 December 2009
For the third century I thought only of food.
Bafalo haunches, spitted and roasted over fire, crackling crisp black-gold on the outside.
Tender spinica leaves, folded around melting pepperpear fruit.
And chokolat, always chokolat.
On Glicker Street
ESCAPE CLAUSE, October 2009
On Glicker Street it was always fall.
Martine walked there.
Martine who looked like spring;
Martine who was tall and pale and dotted her lemon hair with the snowdrops that grew only on her street,
up in the most expensive part of spring.
It's the stories without a clear genre that I think demonstrate the "speculative" coda...
"On Glicker Street: A Seasonal Quartet" is an excellent example.
Fantasy and science fiction woven tightly together.
-- Paul Cole,
Beam Me Up.
7 June 2009 (flash)
Play it as a flash game
at GUD Magazine
If you vow to stop looking at Bitsy's shirt in history class, go to C.
If you tell your sister to be quiet and respect her elders, go to D.
Miniature #29, 3 April 2009, read by
Grammar Girl (flash)
"But I like riding on dinosaurs better than dumb old minivans," said Benji.
Turning the Apples
Strange Horizons, 30 March 2009
# 177, 15 Jan 2010, read by
Cayenne Chris Conroy
Spin 3-4/2013, December 2013
(Finnish translation by Suvi Kauppila)
How to Live on Other Planets,
ed. Joanne Merriam, forthcoming from Upper Rubber Boot Books
"This ain't a negotiation, boyo," says Jonny.
"They're fresh and Hawk's in a lather, he needs what you do."
Then Jonny is gone and Szo is sick to his knees because he's just remembered that fresh
means awake and screaming.
Turning the Apples by Tina Connolly is also a worthy mention,
a tale of a psionic black market and a new SF-nal spin on human trafficking and slavery.
A very enjoyable read.
-- Jason Fischer, Last Short Story.
"Turning the Apples" is a fascinating story which I totally enjoyed,
with a great character in Szo...fans
of unusual science fiction stories will enjoy this tale.
-- Jason Sanford, The Fix.
The God-Death of Halla
Beneath Ceaseless Skies #5,
4 December 2008
Podcast in Beneath Ceaseless Skies
#8, 15 Jan 2009, read by Scott H. Andrews
15 November 2011, read by Jen Rhodes
"Morsel of the god," said the Mouth.
"A landowner has accused you of robbing him with a knife. Tell us what you have done."
Halla...suffers from a debilitating sensitivity that afflicts her whenever someone
receives the judgment of the "Mouth" - the human embodiment of a cruel god.
Skillful writing lends this scenario credibility, delivering Halla's backstory in comprehensible snippets
as the story progresses.
-- Paul S. Jenkins, The Fix.
Facts of Bone
GUD Magazine #3,
Jules stripped to her underwear, dusted herself with powder and stepped into the stretchy flying suit.
Connolly gives us a heroine with whom we can empathize and care for.
As Jules loses her struggle to maintain her mobility,
we are brought to a surprising and poignant conclusion. Recommended.
-- Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, The Fix.
The conclusion to this story is an incredibly sensitive treatment of disability,
of mental health affected by physical fragility,
and of the psychological implications of virtuality and remote experience.
An excellent story, for me one of the outstanding pieces in this issue.
-- Johann Carlisle, The Future Fire.
A Day Out, with Stereoscopes
Birkensnake #1, July 2008
Here is the first joke of Betty L. Duncan.
Why do the three-eyed aliens bank on the moon?
Because there is not enough sun to go around.
Press the blue button when you have finished laughing.
An effective second-person story by Tina Connolly that is hugely hilarious and beguiling.
-- Benjamin Gottlieb, Art + Culture.
A Green Man Review Best of 2008 Pick, from Camille Alexa's
Mildly Anarchistic Review of Favorites of 2008.
Helix #9, Summer 2008
Free to read at
Reprinted in the anthology
UNPLUGGED: The Web's Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy: 2008 Download,
ed. Rich Horton, Dec 2009
Honorable Mention, YEAR'S BEST SF 2008, ed. Gardner Dozois
Honorable Mention, YEAR'S BEST SF&F 2009, ed. Rich Horton
The thing about Mars is, they catch you when you yoink stuff.
A very well presented unreliable narrator, with a bitter past.
-- Rich Horton, Locus.
A short but superlative substantiation of the quality of speculative fiction being published
on the Internet, this exceptional anthology of the best science fiction and fantasy put online
in 2008 includes gems by genre luminaries
as well as rising stars like Tina Connolly and Beth Bernobich.
-- Publishers Weekly,
starred review for Unplugged.
On the Eyeball Floor
Strange Horizons, 2 June 2008
#209, 30 July 2009,
read by Norm Sherman
La Idea Fija #14,
February 2014 (Spanish translation)
YEAR'S BEST HORROR, VOL 1,
ed. Ellen Datlow.
We've got robotic arms to put the eyeballs in. Metal clamps to pull down the eyelids.
Connolly's story is written with a keen ear for language and presents some fascinating imagery and ideas.
She is definitely a writer to keep an eye on. -- Jason Sanford,
The Salivary Reflex
GUD Magazine #2, Spring 2008
The translucent knobs on the ends of their limbs reminded her of Jell-O,
and she tried very hard not to wonder how they tasted.
Tina Connolly offers a story rich in the sensual details of smell and taste.
Connolly has a keen eye for the details of changing relationships and desires.
-- Rosanne Rabinowitz,
At times this tale of detached strangeness reminded me of Kelly Link's fiction.
Allison is wonderfully drawn, as are her husband Tom and friend Paul,
and the aliens are used in an intriguing and unusual manner to complete her story.
-- Shaun C. Green,
Nostalgia for Infinity.
The Goats are Going Places
Shiny #2, December 2007
# 108, 16 June 2010, read by
"Oy," said Ryder. "That's how Group dynamics are.
You have to play people. You're too old to get it."
The second issue of the Australian YA zine Shiny again features
three fine stories, and again my favorite was the most light-hearted:
Tina Connolly's "The Goats Are Going Places" is something of a sendup
of YA hits like Gossip Girl.
-- Rich Horton, Locus.
A sharp and wickedly written teen high-school fantasy comedy of sorts,
in the best American tradition of such.
-- Dirk Flinthart
Moon at the Starry Diner
Heliotrope Magazine #3, November 2007
10-min play version performed as a staged reading as part of the Portland Fringe Festival
Fertile Ground, produced by
The Pulp Stage,
directed by Brian Allard, 24 January 2010
"I love a bear," repeated Jem. She toyed with her paper napkin.
"Except sometimes he's a Volvo, or a Venus Flytrap, or a shed.
How can anyone love a shed? He wasn't even waterproof."
The Town Drunk, May 2007
Tina Connolly made me laugh with her clever use of acronyms and savage satire
in "Sufficient Cause." -- Carole Ann Moleti,
A Memory of Seafood
Yog's Notebook #1, Spring 2007
Drabblecast, 16 March 2014
A memory of seafood.
(That sounds like one of those divine collections, doesn't it, like a flight of starlings
or a murder of crows? I remember when I was a mere seventeen, a slight but fully breasted
slip of a girl, my best girl chums and I used to entertain the governor as he waited for
his tea at the old tea house on Front Street -- you Oolong afficionados, you remember it
-- and he affectionately called us "a flirtation of jailbaits"
-- but that's neither here nor there.)
I quite liked "A Memory of Seafood", by Tina Connolly, a deadpan restaurant review,
its effect arising from the nature of the dish served. -- Rich Horton,
It Could Happen
The Town Drunk,
21 September 2006
Smart, assured, and wry, this is a great story about a man who writes terrible ones.
Recommended. -- Alasdair Stuart,
A Buildup of Days
Son and Foe Vol. 1 Issue 1, Winter 2005
Also available at
Then there's the extraordinary "A Buildup of Days" by Tina Connolly.
-- Joules Taylor,
Love at Second Sight
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
#18, April/May 2005
"Love at Second Sight" is fast-paced and a lot of fun. I haven't a
single criticism of what Connolly put on paper, finding wit and a sense
of joy in her sentence. -- Matthew M. Foster, Tangent.
Yakchily 556's Totally Updated Movie Guide...
Eggplant Library, Dec 2004 (flash)
In the Constant Image
Aoife's Kiss #10, September 2004
Nocturnal Ooze, March 2004
Remember Aunt Else
Nocturnal Ooze, Apr 2004 (flash)
Running with the...
13 Apr 2004 (flash)
2 Apr 2004 (flash)
Monster in the Cafeteria
Spider Magazine, October 2012.
My belly is empty like an ice cream cone
when the ice cream's licked out.
The King of Halloween
Highlights, October 2009,
charming illustrations by Paula Becker
Jose needs a Halloween costume -- but the good ones are all taken.
How to Talk to Little Girls
Staged reading, part of the Portland Fringe Festival
Fertile Ground, produced by
The Pulp Stage, directed by Rusty Tennant,
January 21st and 28th, 2012 (10-min play)
Frightened they tremble, those mighty elephants,
long-neck giraffes, brown-backed gorillas
from washington park they all come running
to 'scape the slaughter of salem-town.
How Frederika Cassowary-Jones Joined the Ladies' Society of Benevolent Goings-On
Performed as a staged reading as part of the Portland Fringe Festival
Fertile Ground, produced by
The Pulp Stage,
directed by Matt Haynes,
28 & 29 January 2011 (10-min play)
GEARS AND LEVERS 2, ed. Phyllis Irene Radford,
Sky Warrior Books, January 2013
Fine place, I said.
[Kindly] You ain't deaf, are you? You look familiar.
I met a deaf woman once in a mine.
I mean, she weren't deaf when we went in, but after she tried to cart off my gold
and I had to fancy-shoot the hat off her monkey in a closed space, she lost her hearing.
A Million Little Paper Airplane Stories
I am the paper this story is written on.
Abyss & Apex, October 2012
YEAR'S BEST HORROR, VOL 5,
ed. Ellen Datlow.
those silly sordid secrets
that everyone has
And My Sinuses Are Killing Me
Asimov's, August 2009
They never understood urban,
these little green men with their
How to Walk in Heels
Diet Soap #2, May 2008
Five women stretched
on narrow white beds
boasting about former
30 July 2007
We only talk now on growing days -
Dad checks my span and shoots me up.
Strange Horizons, 9 Apr 2007
The ship is hot; it backfires
in the last row of corn, and there is popcorn in the night
Vol. 5 Issue 2, Summer 2006
Tam Lin's baggage hides a dowry of one dozen gold cups, faery gold and reeking of under-the-hill.
Eyes stinging, she scours them with Comet.
The Heart Has a Memory
The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Spring 2006
The Gourmet Cook Takes a Husband
SCATTERED, COVERED, SMOTHERED,
Two Cranes Press, Dec 2004