"And I can pick out anything I want?" As Ruth pages through the look book with her extensors, a squeal rises from whatever remains of her flesh mouth. With a start, Jerome Parker realizes he hasn't seen one organic part of his daughter in years."Happy birthday, sweetie." Privately, he's steered the salesman toward budget options. Business at the mine isn't what it used to be. They'll have to stay within the government stipend for a first-time Skyn. Hell, Jerome still wears his first one, though he pays to age it up every few years.
On the salesman's tablet, Ruth skims through the collection of models. With growing irritation, Jerome watches her reject Skyn after Skyn. She lingers for a half-second on a picture of a pretty ebony-colored girl with bright red hair, then flips all the way to the back of the catalog. The expensive part.
A story of teens, fitting in, and the rationale behind looking human (or not) on an alien world, "Papas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Slug Monsters" is my first long story in almost two years, and I hope it's worth the wait! The story won't be on the Apex Magaine site for another month, but you can read it now by purchasing the issue here. The issue also contains thousands of words of fiction by J.S. Breukelaar, E. Catherine Tobler, Damien Angelica Walters, and many others. I've read about half of it so far and can confirm it's dynamite. You can also subscribe to a full year of Apex here.
Speaking of longer stories, while it won't be out officially until January 1, you can get an eARC of Weird World War: China now from the Baen Books site, which includes my story "Tunnel Vision"! This is a story co-written with my editor/husband Rob McMonigal, the second of (possibly?) more. I'll write more about the story once the anthology is officially released, but let's just say that if stories about evil interdimensional shifters are up your alley, you'll probably want to get a copy of this.