The Annual Short Fiction Awards Eligibility Post: 2020 Edition

2020 has been, without doubt, eighty-seven years and five lifetimes stacked in a trench coat. I had to look at my bibliography page to even remember what I had published this year, because time has no meaning and we exist in the gravity well of a black hole. Or so it feels!

gif of Doomguy fist-bumping a figurine of himself, from the DOOM (2016) videogame

But anyway, I did have several short stories published, and for those interested in considering my work for awards purposes (such as the Nebulas or Hugos), I’m flattered! And if you’re just here to read cool stories, I’M EVEN MORE EXCITED because I got you covered! 😀


Behold The Deep Never Seen (Avatar, Inc., March 2020) | short story | science fiction
An AI’s journey into the deepest part of the ocean and the ancient sea god that dwells below.

Flashlight Man (Nightmare Magazine, March 2020) | short story | horror
Creepypasta / urban legend tells about the Flashlight Man game, which you should never, ever play.

Bring the Bones That Sing (Diabolical Plots, Spring 2020) | short story | fantasy
Why are the bones showing up on Grandma’s porch every evening, and where do they go?

This Cold Red Dust (MY BATTERY IS LOW AND IT IS GETTING DARK, July 2020) | short story | science fiction
Abandoned on Mars, you are desperate to find a way to signal for help…but all you’ve found is an old robotic toy with a failing battery, and it is getting dark. [I promise it has a happy ending!]

The Lawless Triptych

This trilogy of anthologies, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey, is themed around a dystopia: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Each author wrote three stories in their own dystopia setting. My stories, forming The Lawless Triptych, look at a near future United States in which a group of queer and trans people fight to survive and change the world for the better against overwhelming odds.

[CN: stories involve gun violence, mass shootings, hatred towards queer people, suicide, murder/violence, and domestic abuse; it’s dark science fiction but I promise it ends well for each character, in the end.]

Trust In the Law, For the Law Trusts In You (Ignorance Is Strength, June 2020) | short story | science fiction
Arren finds himself as the unwilling spokesperson for a new VR indoctrination campaign after a failed school shooting makes him a “hero”—but when he’s outed as trans on national TV, his platform is no refuge from the people who want him dead. Aren relies on his friends to help him escape, and start a revolution in the process.

Believe In the Law, For the Law Is All (Burn the Ashes, June 2020) | short story | science fiction
Marley pretends she’s straight. She must be, that’s the only acceptable sexuality now. Then she meets an undercover lesbian freedom fighter who warns of a threat to Marley’s life, and Marley must fight to find out the truth: who wants to destroy her, how she can save other women trapped like she is (abusive marriage, suffocating class structure, no bodily autonomy), and ultimately who she is underneath all the masks she wears to survive.

The Law Is the Plan, and the Plan Is Death (Or Else the Light, June 2020) | short story | science fiction
Eleazar works in the biggest social media hub in the country, and when their boss commits suicide in front of them, they are presented with a terrifying opportunity: they could shut it all down, flatline the government’s oppressive regime in one move. It will likely cost them their life if they do—but what they are now, it isn’t living, it’s barely survival. Trapped in a locked down building, Eleazar meets Arren, the leader of the resistance, and his allies who promise they have space for Eleazar. The future lies in Eleazar’s hands. They want to set it free.

I’m super proud of all these stories! Thank you, as always, for reading, and I hope you enjoy. 😀

Here’s to crushing the last health bar of Boss Battle 2020 and escaping into a new year with a brighter outlook.

gif of Elrond, from Lord of the Rings, saying “Destroy it!”
gif from Monsters, Inc. of Mike and Sully doing the “put that thing back where it came from or so help me” dance (it’s a musical)

All my best,

Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

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