LBM Awards Eligible Works 2023

Ahead of the 2024 awards season, below is a list of awards eligible works Little Blue Marble published in 2023. Little Blue Marble itself is eligible in the semiprozine category for the Hugos.

Fiction

December 29, 2023
The First and Last Concert of Avalonia Jemison’s Peace Lily

Avalonia Jemison walks into the Plaza restaurant only a day before the event, wearing the brisk confidence usually reserved for politicians and the like, but the midseventies retiree carries it better than most. This is impressive when considering she’s also carrying the potted houseplant I’m here to interview. She places the plant on the barstool […]

December 15, 2023
Pity the Squonk

The range of the squonk is very limited.—William T. Cox, Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods The woods were my sanctuary, my cathedral, and goodness knows I needed a refuge that spring. Every day brought more bad news: the hottest April on record, the worst flooding since Hurricane Agnes, unprecedented tree die-offs. A forest ranger could […]

December 1, 2023
Snail Tank

The restaurant was blue, like the whole place had been doused in artificial water, and Noma didn’t like it. She clutched her purse as she followed the hostess, nodded to the staff as she passed. The CEO was in the back room surrounded by fish tanks: three giant panels that held back corals, eels, and […]

November 18, 2023
Martian Blue

“I could have had it all once, you know,” she said, between sips of Martian Blue. “The big house back on Mars, the private shuttle, luxury apartments on Titan and Europa, all of it, the whole package. I could have been living the dream.” I laughed, took a big swig of Enceladusian Red, and wiped […]

October 27, 2023
The Prairie School

It’s all … lines. Penny lowers her sketchbook and looks at her campfire. It flickers, catching the breeze. She looks back at her sketchbook. Lines. Lots of lines. A visual emphasis on the horizontal, intercut with organic motifs. Plans for off-grid, solar-powered tiny homes. Built from an architect’s perspective. She flips through old pages, old […]

October 6, 2023
Catastrophizing

It isn’t always the water that frightens me. When the floods lap below George IV Bridge, the Old Town drowning beneath a surging tide of brownish green, I find the water itself quite beautiful, in a majestic sort of way. What scares me is the waste the water leaves behind. The sea salt that settles […]

September 22, 2023
Returnal

It’s March again, and with the drizzling grey comes the thirty-fifth anniversary of the return of our vessel, the Pursuant. I’ve grown old in the years since, and as I gaze out my window at a world caught between the death of winter and the renewal of spring, it feels important to write down some […]

September 8, 2023
A Lot Full of Weeds

Sometimes, especially days the air was easy to breathe, I liked to walk all the way down to Golden Gate Park, wander through the trees, maybe get a taco, watch the waves at Ocean Beach, or the roller skaters down by Fulton. Maybe just sit on the playground swings and listen to the birds and […]

August 25, 2023
Microclimates of the Rich and Famous

On today’s episode, the breathtaking Salish-Pacifica estate of Darien Walton-Musk, biogeneering  pioneer and microretail magnate. We’ll speak with Walton-Musk and his architect/companion AI, Pacifica, later in the program, but first enjoy the beautiful landscape of the grounds. The border of Salish-Pacifica is understated, beginning with the five kilometre mist belt, where vapour sprinklers seed the […]

August 11, 2023
The Smiling Virologist

SAMUEL BURNS is a tall, thin man who seems nervous in front of the cameras. He fiddles with the wire linking the mic that is clipped onto his shirt, and one foot taps quietly but frantically on the floor as he talks. SAMUEL: I suppose you want to talk about what happened to Adam Lewinsky, […]

July 7, 2023
Things We Do Before We Eat

Danny loved Central Park. Danny’s father, Thomas, hated the walk through the pencil towers that got them there. “Can we please do a boat ride today, Daddy?” “Sure, buddy.” Thomas scanned the sidewalks ahead of him, trying to pick out any areas where they might run across someone Thomas didn’t want to have to explain […]

June 23, 2023
The Brighter World

The sun was so hot, and the two full wooden buckets weighed so much! No matter how Tallie held them, their hard handles, salvaged Old-Time wire wrapped in rawhide, hurt her fingers or her palms, and every time she stepped carelessly, another gout of the precious water would slop out into the dust and filth […]

June 9, 2023
Flavours of a Memory

Mists lie over the craggy rocks just off the shore. Sea gulls cry, sea lions bark, kelp crunches underfoot. Cypress and sage bend in the breeze coming off the ocean. Purple wildflowers peek out from dry brown grass. A bent oak shelters crows. A peek into the secluded life of a tidepool: sea anemones, sea […]

May 26, 2023
Rewilding Indiana

I’m Joanna Appleseed, reseeding native gardens from above. Just a cloud chasing wind, transparent kites to gather the sun, furl them in before the storm. Light as a gull, composites and silk, shift and rise through the layers. The troposphere’s a 3D puzzle, navigation by wind on my cheek. Neutral buoyancy and clean electrons power […]

May 12, 2023
You Are My Endling

Joni and I got our first biomorph plasty together when we were sixteen. Small changes at first. Cosmetic over functional. Mom and Dad argued constantly, so I didn’t feel too badly that I was probably the final wedge to drive them apart. Dad supported me. He went on about how when he was young, kids […]

April 14, 2023
Shaping Lakes and Honeycakes

Melia stood upon the shores of the receding lake, shaping her tale for the meagre audience of children and elders. Storyshaping always came easier when there were more listeners, but this was her third attempt this moon cycle at reshaping the lake’s story, with little to show for her efforts; she couldn’t blame the others […]

March 24, 2023
Seeds, Temporarily in Their Bed of Lint 

The puckering taste of lemon lingers in my memory. Bright, like the stars out my window. Distant for now, like them, too. Eight worlds. Eight worlds in nine standard years. But none of them perfect. Each star system has plenty of planets orbiting within, swirling in their gravity pools. Most of those are uninhabitable. My […]

February 24, 2023
Sing the Phoenix to Flame

Once, Tena Na Tena had been certain when she sang. Injustice gathered within her, swirling tighter until it solidified into a beat, lyrics, melody. When it clicked into place, she let it out. It wasn’t as if she planned carefully, weighing the implications of her words or the mode of release. She knew right and […]

January 27, 2023
The Chrysalis

“You don’t actually believe all that do you?” “You’re such a baby!” “Caterpillars don’t become butterflies.” “The adults just switch them when you’re not looking, you idiot.” “Magic’s for babies.” “Leave her alone! You’ll ruin it for her.” “Maybe you’ll turn into a big smelly cockroach!” Loz tried to look away, but her cousins were […]

January 13, 2023
I Think That I Shall Never See

Good afternoon, fellow tree lovers, and welcome to the North American Biosphere Tree Museum. My name is Aliah—I’ll be your guide today. Step through the airlock and we’ll begin the tour. Please feel free to ask questions at any time. Our museum houses the most extensive collection of preproprietary tree species in the world. We […]

Poetry

December 22, 2023
Haiku

a wave of sadnesswhere water once flowed freelyonly sand remains

November 24, 2023
Shipwrecked Earth
November 10, 2023
Choose Your Own Extinction

*Ed. Note: because of its formatting, this poem is best viewed on a wider screen

October 13, 2023
A poem for retired lighthouses
September 30, 2023
Rising Death
September 15, 2023
120° in the Shade
September 1, 2023
Veni Vidi Vici
April 28, 2023
No room at world's end

My shoulders widen: they broaden, outstretch the backs of your valleys. My fingers lengthen, my legs grow heftier. They expand, they grow; taking up too much space in this room. You wince at my cigarette smoke. It’s a grey mistress dancing seductively, swaying in the unclean air to her own mindless rhythm. She smears grey […]

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