Susan Forest has published over twenty short stories in Canada and the United States. Her works have appeared in OnSPEC Magazine, In Places Between, Asimov’s Science Fiction, three of the Tesseracts anthologies (Edge Press), AE Science Fiction Review, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Blood and Water (Bundoran Press), and The Urban Green Man. Her collection of short fiction, Immunity to Strange Tales, was published by Five Rivers Press, and her nonfiction has appeared in Legacy Magazine, Alberta Views Magazine, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Blog. Several of Susan’s short stories are available on Curious Fictions.
Fiction – Short Stories
Paradox pitfalls are not exclusive to travel through time. Any knowledge of the future can be paralyzing. OnSpec, Summer 2012.
In a future where water is scarce and life as we know it has broken down in the wake of resource wars, Dyan must dig deeper within herself to find the courage to face her fear, if her family is to survive. Published in Blood and Water, Bundoran Press, 2012.
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Rent in Space
It would be impossible to come home from work one evening and find a black hole in your living room, right? But how about a rent in the space-time fabric? Can you imagine the money making schemes? Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2012.
To Go Home To Leal
Kaul — a boy on the brink of manhood — is torn in two when his alternately loving and abusive father is turned into a crippled beggar. Can a wizard who deals with demons help Kaul bring his father home to the healing country of Leal? Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2012. You can read “To Go Home To Leal” on Curious Fictions.
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The Most Invasive Species
It takes the arrival of Tumbling River’s new doctor — and her concern for the well-being of the colony’s children, no matter which species — to show Amanda the significance of her personal impact on the planet. Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2012.
Terraforming a distant planet is complicated, not simplified, when the existing ecosystem is sufficiently alien that no biochemical interaction can occur between the two–and when the Earth colonists discover that they have brought insufficient complexity for their attempt at terraformation to become self-sustaining. Faced with the demise of the colony, Tian and Jerry must find a way for the two ecosystems to interact. Then, they meet Lucy…
Along with Robert Walton’s “Vienna Station,” “Lucy” is co-winner of The Galaxy Project, judged by Robert Silverberg, David Drake, and Barry Malzberg.
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The Director’s Cut
Film producer Lasha feels imprisoned in her world of reality, make believe, hallucination and the occult. Only a mysterious director seems to have the key to set her free. But her freedom is Jim’s hell. Tesseracts Fourteen, Edge Press, 2010.
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The Right Chemistry
In “The Right Chemistry” two oxygen atoms attend a cocktail party, with explosive results. OnSpec Magazine, 2010.
Turning It Off
When Carter and Sam(antha) learn how to turn off their safeties, not only does the world become a trickier place, they learn new things about each other… Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 2011.
“Turning It Off” was a finalist for the 2012 Prix Aurora Award.
“Back” follows two time machine inventors who become famous when they send small objects back in time; but the real breakthrough will come when they can send a sentient being to the past–and retrieve him to the present. “Back” was a finalist for the 2009 Prix Aurora Award. Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 2008. You can read “Back” on Curious Fictions.
Civilization has overtaken the land masses of Earth. Every metal has been mined, every fuel burned, every resource used. The exploding human race must cannibalize its own structures in order to make one last, desperate attempt to survive. Published in AE Science Fiction Review and podcasted by Drabblecast.
“Orange” was a Notable Online Story finalist in 2010 for the Storysouth Million Writers’ Award.
Moons in systems off the beaten track are never first on anyone’s list to receive supplies. But when the mining colony on 403 Station is hit by a lethal disease, Trine has to make hard decisions about who will receive the medicine, and who must try to recover on their own. When her daughter becomes ill, her choices become harder. Asimov’s Science Fiction, 2006.
“Immunity” was a finalist for the 2005 Robin Herrington Short Story Contest.
Paid in Full
Gnat farming is difficult enough, what with isolation, drought and storms–let alone the predation of deadly “Whites”–but when the roof of Willy’s barn is sheared by high winds Freddy is called upon to pay his debt. Asimov’s Science Fiction, Oct/Nov 2007.
Angel of Death
Joe’s mutation is a set of extended shoulder blades that, when fitted with honed razors, give him the cock-boxing nickname “Angel of Death.” But mutant cock-boxers can’t challenge “cleans” — until Joe’s untouched track record becomes an embarrassment to the world champion. In the resulting championship match viewed — and gambled on — worldwide, more rides on the outcome of the fight than just money. Tesseracts 10, Edge Press, 2006.
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Tomorrow and Tomorrow
“Tomorrow and Tomorrow” was published in Tesseracts Eleven by Edge Press. It is a post-apocalyptic story about a family that finds themselves self-sufficient in terms of their energy and food needs, yet facing their ultimate demise. A mother and her children struggle with, and face, their own cultural prejudices to create hope for the future. Tesseracts 11, Edge Press, 2007.
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In a disturbing world not unlike “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Zekielina will do anything to escape her mother’s endless renovations and cuddly bunny games. Flight to the Easter Bunny’s warren and the Tooth Fairy’s castle only result the loss of the tip of her middle finger. But when Zekielina searches for Santa’s elves, she soon discovers she is no longer “Playing Games.” OnSpec Magazine, 2005.
Fiction – Collections and Novels
Immunity to Strange Tales
Susan Forest’s first collection of short fiction, Immunity To Strange Tales, was launched at the When Words Collide conference in Calgary, August 10-12, 2012. The collection contains nine reprints, including “Back,” finalist for the 2009 Prix Aurora Awards (short fiction category) as well as three new stories: “Killing the Cat,” “The Way Back,” and “The Strange Tale of–” Five Rivers Press, 2012.
The Dragon Prince
When her father and the other villagers organize a search party for the dragon that preys on their homes, Kathleen enlists the help of her mysterious friend, Callum, to find the dragon first. What she does not know in her quest to save the magnificent beast, is that Callum has his own reasons for wanting to kill it.
Published in 1990 by Gage Educational Publishing in Agincourt, Ontario, Canada. It was awarded the Children’s Circle Book Choice Award, and was chosen by Gage as one of two young adult novels to represent the company at an international book fair in Berlin, in 1991.
A haunting, love-filled memory of a hidden mountain valley Susan’s children call “Grandpa’s Kitchen.” Her father, renowned mountaineer, Don Forest, was first and foremost a family man, and loved nothing better than to pass on his love of the mountains to his children and grandchildren. Now that her father has passed away, it is Susan’s ongoing legacy to share the ways of the mountains with her children. Legacy Magazine, 2009.