We’re pleased to reveal the three finalists for the LeVar Burton Reads short story writing contest, a contest produced in collaboration between Tor.com, FIYAH Magazine, and the LeVar Burton Reads podcast, co-edited by L.D. Lewis and Diana M. Pho.
Working under the theme ”Origins & Encounters,” each of these stories examines the ways in which blended civilizations and cultural exchanges would affect the subject of faith, languages, racial prejudice, gender recognition, and concepts of community and identity.
All three stories will be available to read for free on Tor.com on Tuesday February 22, 2022.
“The Last Truth” by AnaMaria Curtis
Artwork by Juan Bernabu
A runaway and indentured thief, Eri must provide a new secret to open each new lock, at the cost of her own memory. Hundreds of locks later, Eri can barely recall her own past. An unanticipated alliance with a musician may prove the key to both their freedoms—if Eri doesn’t lose herself in the process.
"Girl Oil" by Grace P. Fong
Artwork by Sara Wong
Chelle’s friend, Wenqian, has everything Chelle doesn’t. A slim figure, pale skin, and most notably the affection of her longtime friend Preston. Like the ocean waves she calls home, Chelle feels transparent and overflowing all at once. So when she’s handed a body oil that promises to fix all of her mistakes, she’ll use as much as it takes to reach perfection; no matter how much it hurts.
"Synthetic Perennial" by Vivianni Glass
Artwork by Dani Pendergast
K’Mori has died once already. Brought back to life, she struggles with the limits of her reanimation while the world struggles with its meaning.