Moon-Bright Tides by RoAnna Sylver

  • Author: RoAnna Sylver
  • Publisher: Kraken Collective Books
  • Published Date: 2018

[Welcome to Short Story Saturday, the first of which is being uploaded on a Sunday! Aren’t misnomers fun?

We received this story as an ARC from Kraken Collective Books. Thank you.]


With all of the excitement over the blue blood moon that just occurred this year (2018), it seems fitting to read a book where there is no moon. Just “a hole, darker than even the rest of the night sky” (Sylver). Riven is a witch tasked with singing the tides in and out every night. She is alone. But one night she spots a strange figure on her dock, reaching for the stew Riven always has cooking. The figure is a mermaid. Riven and the mermaid, called Moonbright, slowly learn more about each other and the tides; and they begin to form a relationship.

This story is filled with writing that grabs you by the wrist and pulls you in deep as soon as you wade in. Here is the first paragraph:

Riven could never look at the sea without thinking of drowning. She only had to catch a glimpse of the waves, and her heart would constrict, blood running cold and breath rushing from her lungs. Facing her worst fears never got easier, though she’d told herself it would for years.

This is a story that shows strange things are not always dangerous things. Moonbright’s people are said to be killers; they lure humans in with songs and eat them. Or so the rumors go. Riven is a witch who lives isolated on a tiny island with a job no one wants. Separate, they are lonely, but they are not lonely together.

For such a short story, this packed a punch. It contains lovely, quiet scenes of Riven and Moonbright just sitting with each other. These little moments sprinkled in throughout the story add so much.

With fantastic prose and compelling characters, this is an LGBT story to add to your list.

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