Mysterious Galaxy’s summer reading series concludes with spouses C.C. Finlay and Rae Carson. Finlay is the editor for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and the author of five books and dozens of short stories. His website notes, “We tell stories to create purpose and find meaning. The stories we tell about ourselves define our identity, the stories we enjoy reveal our hopes and aspirations, and the stories that we believe without question hide our deepest fears.” Rae is the author of the Fire and Thorns high fantasy trilogy, and the magic in the American West Gold Seer trilogy, which will conclude with Into the Bright Unknown in October.
This eighth volume of the year's best science fiction and fantasy features over thirty stories by some of the genre's greatest authors, including John Barnes, Elizabeth Bear, C.C. Finlay, Yoon Ha Lee, Kelly Link, Ian McDonald, Seanan McGuire, Vonda N. McIntyre, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Meeting Infinity, and other top venues, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.
After her harrowing journey west to California, Lee Westfall has finally found a new home, one rich in gold, thanks to her magical power, a power that seems to be changing every day. But this home is rich in other ways, too: with friends who are searching for a place to be themselves, just as she is, and with love. Jefferson, her longtime best friend, hasn't stopped trying to win her heart. And Lee is more and more tempted to say yes. But her uncle Hiram hasn't given up his quest to get Lee and her power under his control. When she's kidnapped and taken to him, Lee sees firsthand the depths of her uncle's villainy. Yet Lee's magic is growing. Gold no longer simply sings to her, it listens. It obeys her call. Is it enough to destroy her uncle once and for all?
When Lord Gruethrist's castle is laid under siege by an invading baron, he sends a trusted knight and nursemaid off with his infant son. Their escape across a wilderness landscape populated by fantastic creatures and torn by war takes unexpected turns until the baby is finally adopted by a mother troll grieving for her own lost child. Christened "Maggot" by a hostile stepfather, the human boy grows up amid the crude but democratic trolls until he leaves the band to rediscover the world of humankind.
But the world of man is a complex and capricious place. Maggot must master its strange ways if he is to survive... let alone win the heart and hand of the Lady Portia.
Finlay's society of trolls are unlike any you've ever read before, and his matriarchal medieval world, pitted as they are against an analog of Native American tribesmen, provides a rich setting for many poignant social and political insights.