Editors’ Note: This week, we’re taking a small break and bringing you a miniature by one of our favorite authors. We’ll be back next week with a feature length story.
by Amal El-Mohtar
In a cafe lit by morning, a girl with a book around her neck sits quietly at a table.
She reads—not the book around her neck, which is small, only as long and as wide as her thumb, black cord threaded through a sewn leather spine, knotted shut. She reads a book of maps and women, turns every page as if it were a lock of hair, gently. Every so often, her fingers stray to the book that sits above her sternum, twist it one way, then the other; every so often, she sips her tea.
“What is written in your book?” asks the man who brought her the tea. She looks up.
About the Author
Amal El-Mohtar is an award-winning author and critic. She is the science fiction and fantasy columnist for the New York Times Book Review and the co-author, with Max Gladstone, of This Is How You Lose the Time War, which to date has won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards for Best Novella. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Ottawa, and you can find her on Twitter @Tithenai or subscribe to her newsletter at amal.substack.com.