There are a couple interesting new stories online at the moment. Susanna Clarke, who is very much the flavor of the moment, has “Antickes and Frets” over at the New York Times, while Tim Pratt has “Life in Stone” on Lenox Avenue. The Clarke story is a nice, if reasonably minor piece, that gives you a pretty good taste of what her work is like but isn’t quite as strong as some of her other short fiction.
The Pratt story, on the other hand, is probably the strongest story he’s had published this year. In addition to “Life in Stone”, he’s had “In a Glass Casket” in Realms of Fantasy, “Hart and Boot” in Polyphony 4, and “Terrible Ones” in The Third Alternative. Of those, I’d say “Hart and Boot”, an interesting slightly twisted Western was the next best.
I’m not actually going to blog too much more about these stories right now because Tim, and Jay Lake, are at the center of something I’m trying to work out at the moment. I think both belong on your ‘to read’ lists, and I think both have the potential to be major writers in the field, but I think both are at real turning points.