Laura Duerr

2019 Award Eligibility


It is time to begin nominating works for 2020 science fiction and fantasy awards, and that means compiling your work for consideration. This is my first time doing this kind of thing. Bummer, too, because there were a couple stories in the previous year that I would have much more confidently listed for nomination, as opposed to sort of holding them gingerly out in front of me like offerings to an angry god.

It wasn’t my most productive year in terms of short fiction – I spent a lot of my writing time working on my book, and the rest of my time being reasonably gainfully employed.

Here’s my 2019, though. I am proud of them. I have one more story forthcoming this year from Metaphorosis, which I’ll add when it’s published.

“Blueprint for the End of the World”

Askance Publishing, Winter Short Story Competition runner-up
February 2019 (read here)

We saw how it began. Fifteen of us were from that country that had broken first and pressed the button. There was a little violence, of course, a brief frenzy of retribution quickly interrupted by station security.

We’d passed over my hometown twenty minutes earlier. I wouldn’t have to watch them burn, at least. Out of the shifting cross-stitch of white vapor came the remaining shuttles, straining to reach us before the atmosphere ignited.

What was that? Who launched first? Oh. Does that really matter now?

“Last Words”

Shoreline of Infinity Issue 16
October 2019 (read here)

Her first clumsy paintings portrayed uncomplicated emotions in cheerful ochre, bright cerulean, or undiluted violet. Later, they became more sophisticated: muted reds paired with warm grays to indicate the stress of leadership; her childhood memories captured in candy-bright pinks and blues against wistful navy.

And now she lay under impassive black.

She’d have hated this.

“What Lies in Light”

Metaphorosis December 2019
(buy here; online coming Dec. 13th)

Two stories below us, a pool of shimmering light spreads out across the caldera. It’s the root of a rainbow, liquefied gems, a quantum weaving of light and color that feels as warm and pleasant on my face as sunshine. Even though I’ve never seen it up close, it looks exactly the same as it does in my dreams. I half-expect to hear my brother’s voice next, crying out to me from the depths.