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Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and she graduated from Clarion West in 2005. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy and Sturgeon Awards. She’s twice won the Nebula Award: for her 2010 novella, “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” and her 2014 short story, “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.”

Read or listen to Rachel Swirsky’s free online fiction, or buy her collections, singles and anthologies.

Find her on Twitter as rachelswirsky, and follow what she’s up to in her monthly newsletter. Support her on Patreon.


New Story, “Wake Up, I Miss You” in Apex


Terra stands alone in the middle of the room, staring at nothing. She moves sometimes like someone dreaming, but never reacts.

My poor sister, locked in her own world.

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New Story, “Innocent Bird” in Lightspeed

Lightspeed July 2021 Issue 134, dragon with rider


It began with Shoko finding feathers in her bed. It was her third year of high school. She’d just turned seventeen.

She was falling in love, and her wings were coming in.

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New Story, “Thirteen of the Secrets in My Purse” in Uncanny Magazine

Red purse sitting on dirt road surrounded by grass.One: My lipstick.

The shade is Heart’s Blood.

Morbid, if you ask me.

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New Story “The Problem with My Dachshund” in Guernica Magazine

The problem with my dachshund is that he pees.

Constantly. Unrelentingly. On rugs and furniture and laps.

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New Story “Your Face” in Clarkesworld Magazine

Oh! Abigail! Oh. It’s good—it’s so good to see you.

Mom. Hi.

I feel like I could reach out and touch your face. Your face! It’s so good to see your face.

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New Story “Compassionate Simulation” in Uncanny Magazine

You are floating. No, not floating—numb. No, not numb—nothing.

You are nothing? No. Wait.

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Short Story Collection, How the World Became Quiet, available now

How_the_World_Became_Quiet_by_Rachel_SwirskyHow the World Became Quiet: Myths of the Past, Present, and Future collects the body of Swirsky’s short fiction to date… While these stories envision pasts, presents, and futures that never existed, they offer revealing examinations of humanity that readers will find undeniably true.

Purchase or read more