Né łe! by Darcie Little Badger

Short Fiction Friday

Welcome to Short Fiction Friday! Every Friday, Black Forest Basilisks will be shining a spotlight on a new short story, novelette, or flash fic in addition to our regular posts. These stories will usually be available for free online, but occasionally stories from published anthologies will also be featured. 

This story is available online for free at: Galli Books. Click through to read!

Enamored with promises of red Martian canyons and a hefty pay raise, I ignored the scary part about leaving Earth until I actually had to board a starship. There’s nothing too risky about interplanetary space travel. In fact, it’s rather mundane; passengers relax in stasis for nine months. I just hate speed. Won’t ride a roller coaster. Won’t bungee jump. Won’t even hop off a diving board.

No drop can outrace the ascent outta Earth.

Né łe! was originally published in Love Beyond Body, Space and Timean anthology forcused on indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. It’s a beautiful little f/f love story that showcases indigenous women in STEM. Further, it does a great job at representing the differences between two women of different indigenous backgrounds. While they have similarities, their cultures are not presented as identical. 

The story itself is very sweet and joyful to read. Dottie, a veterinarian, is woken up prematurely from a coma she was placed into for a flight from Earth to Mars. She’s taken the trip as part of a new job; she’s to help with designer puppies being shipped to the rich and wealthy of the red planet. As she opens her eyes, the first person she sees is a somewhat concerned pilot named Cora. Cora quickly explains that the puppies’ stasis pods managed to malfunction… thus the need for an expert in animals. 

The two grow closer throughout the months’ long journey as they wrangle forty chihuahuas and one absolutely stunning husky. They share their fears, their dreams, and their pasts with one another. As the space flight comes to an end, they must make a choice: where do they go from here?

Past featured short stories can be viewed here.

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About the Author

Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache writer with a PhD in oceanography. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Elatsoe, was featured in Time Magazine as one of the best 100 fantasy novels of all time, and her second novel, A Snake Falls to Earth, is coming in 2021. Darcie’s short fiction, nonfiction and comics have appeared in multiple places, including Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1, Nightmare Magazine, Strange Horizons, and The Dark. She is currently engaged to a veterinarian named T.

Find her on Twitter @ShiningComic.

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Published by Christine Sandquist

Christine Sandquist is an NYC-based sensitivity/developmental editor and author assistant to writers such as Hugo Award Winner Mary Robinette Kowal, World Fantasy Award Winner Tobias S. Buckell, and SOVAS Award Finalist Cadwell Turnbull. They specialize in analyzing and providing feedback on works that include diverse, queer casts, representations of sexual trauma, and broader gender-based violence. They are part of the team behind Reddit r/fantasy, the internet’s largest discussion forum for the greater speculative fiction genre.

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