Sunday recs: Zombies, gender fluidity, alternative families

Time for Sunday recs! I’ve been reading some excellent stuff lately – poetry too, but let’s go for prose first.

Story recs
So, zombies are pretty much everywhere these days, but I haven’t actually read that much zombie fiction. (My consumption has been in the form of comics and films.) This story in Niteblade is a really good zombie story, though, told from an interesting perspective: Compassion, During and After the Fall, by Cory Cone.

My second rec is an SF story about spices, asteroids, and the fluidity of gender – Alex Dally MacFarlane’s Found, in Clarkesworld. Reading it, I could taste the spices in my mouth. Also, it’s wonderful to read stories with characters who don’t fit the gender binary! “I finally realized, two years later, chewing thyme on an outlying asteroid where six people stubbornly survived, that I was like Thyme: ill-suited to ‘boy’ or ‘girl.'”

Final story rec: Super Bass by Kai Ashante Wilson on This is really good – such lush language, really cool dialect stuff. I love reading stories where the writer has really thought about the language, and this is definitely one of them. Also in the story: different gender presentations and polyamorous family structures; and a non-conflict plot!

Finally, a book rec:
Kate Elliott’s newest, the final book of the Spiritwalker trilogy: Cold Steel. I’ve squeed about the trilogy before on this blog, but now that I’ve read the final book, I will squee once more. I haven’t been this excited about a book series for ages! I love pretty much everything about these books: the alternate-world ice age setting with its cultural and ethnic diversity; the living, breathing characters; the dialogue; and the fast-moving plot. I really admire Kate Elliott, and love what she’s done with her alternate Europa.

She describes the overall story (here) as:

an Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency fantasy adventure with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendants of troodons.

Add to that a wonderful narrator, spirit courts, amazing characters (both female and male), shark-punching, and revolutionary politics. I mean, really, just go and read the series, you will not regret it!