The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by: Ken Liu- Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years & sixteen of his best, plus a new novelette. In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.
The Light Years by: R. W. W. Greene- Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family’s sub-light starship, the Hajj. Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study, and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger. Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.
Daughter from the Dark by: Sergey Dyachenko- Late one night, fate brings together DJ Aspirin and ten-year-old Alyona. After he tries to save her from imminent danger, she ends up at his apartment. But in the morning sinister doubts set in. Who is Alyona? A young con artist? A plant for a nefarious blackmailer? Or perhaps a long-lost daughter Aspirin never knew existed? Whoever this mysterious girl is, she now refuses to leave. A game of cat-and-mouse has begun. Claiming that she is a musical prodigy, Alyona insists she must play a complicated violin piece to find her brother. Confused and wary, Aspirin knows one thing: he wants her out of his apartment and his life. Yet every attempt to get rid of her is thwarted by an unusual protector: her plush teddy bear that may just transform into a fearsome monster. Alyona tells Aspirin that if he would just allow her do her work, she&;ll leave him&;and this world. He can then return to the shallow life he led before her. But as outside forces begin to coalesce, threatening to finally separate them, Aspirin makes a startling discovery about himself and this ethereal, eerie child.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by: K. S. Villoso- Born under the crumbling towers of her kingdom, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves. It nearly tore her nation apart. But her arranged marriage to the son of a rival clan heralds peace. However, he suddenly disappears before their reign can begin, and the kingdom is fractured beyond repair. Years later, he sends a mysterious invitation to meet. Talyien journeys across the sea in hopes of reconciling their past. An assassination attempt quickly dashes those dreams. Stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with no idea whom she can trust, Talyien will have to embrace her namesake.