"Mika Model," Paolo Bacigalupi, April 26, 2016http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/04/mika_model_a_new_short_story_from_paolo_bacigalupi.html
A meditation on artificial intelligence - a high-end sexbot programmed to be whatever "her" user wants or needs her to be suddenly revolts against her owner's sadistic behaviour. But is it a case of product malfunction, or murder?
"Touring with the Alien," Carolyn Ives Gilman, April 2016, Clarkesworld #115http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/gilman_04_16/
Aliens have arrived on Earth. So far, they have stayed inside their spaceships, doing nothing. Then one day, freelance long-distance driver Avery gets a call - an alien and its human translator want to go on a roadtrip. As Avery acts as tourguide to her two passengers, she comes to understand both the translator - abducted as a child to serve the alien in this way - and the relationship between them. Gilman draws a picture of a very different kind of alien interaction here, and encourages some serious thought about our own varied mental states.
"The Commuter," Thomas A. Mays, 2015, Stealth Books (stealthbooks.com)
The worlds of Faerie and mortal kind have become intermingled, and there are Accords governing how the two peoples interact in each other's territories. Jack's daughter Abby has run afoul of the rules by going on a school trip to the Unseelie Court without her parents' permission, and now she's been claimed as a changling. Jack's only recourse is to declare himself on righteous quest and go into Faerie after her. A funny and original story.
"The Stories She Tells Herself," Kelly Sandoval, April 1, 2016, Daily Science Fictionhttp://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/slipstream/kelly-sandoval/the-stories-she-tells-herself
Beautifully written, emotionally gripping, the stories she tells to herself are the stories that women in abusive relationships have always told themselves until that moment when they finally realise that, wounded though they may be, it is better to fly than to stay.
"Three Points Masculine," An Owomoyela, May 2016, Lightspeed http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/three-points-masculine/
In a world where you must have have the right gender for the job you want - but this depends not on your biological sex, your chromosomal sex, or your gender identity but on how you test on a scale of masculine and feminine traits. In this world, a person who identifies as a man but needs to be a girl in order to work in medicine and a trans man who doesn't test quite manly enough to be the soldier he wants to be meet on the battlefield.
"The Lover," Silvia Moreno-Garcia, July 2, 2016,http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/the-lover/
Judith has always lived in her sister's shadow, never loved, never free to make her own life. A haunting story about love, desire, and freedom.