Short stories by A. Merc Rustad

Merc Fenn Wolfmoor [formerly writing as A. Merc Rustad] is a queer non-binary writer who likes dinosaurs, robots, monsters, and cookies. Their fiction has appeared in LightspeedUncannyFiresideNightmare, and others. Merc is also a 2016 Nebula Award finalist for their story, “This Is Not A Wardrobe Door,” which has been reprinted in PodCastle (audio), Cicada (2018), and The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, along with translations into Chinese and Portuguese. Their debut short story collection, SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROBOT (Lethe Press, 2017), is available in paperback and ebook. Merc is mostly found on Twitter @Merc\Wolfmoor and sometimes playing in cardboard boxes.

Listing 6 stories.

A human undergoes a procedure to transplant her consciousness into a spaceship, though her actions are held under strict protocol. After she befriends a vulnerable child stowaway onboard, she decides to take back control of the ship.

In a distant future on another planet, a middle-aged female cyborg finds herself at the end of a five-year long war. Amidst Earth's triumph, this soldier must confront the death of her long-missing husband and the toll of years of violence. With the help of a fellow survivor, the new widow and veteran begins to learn how to both honor and let go of the past. On the war-torn land of another planet, a female cyborg soldier finds herself at the end of five years of violence. Though Earth claims the victory, the new veteran cannot celebrate, confronted by the loss of her husband and her will to live. The widowed woman and a fellow survivor reckon with their uncertain futures and learn how to let go of the past.

An asexual woman with a gay fake boyfriend falls in love with a robot. She debates whether to reveal this to him even as she struggles with depression and longs to become a robot herself.

An assassin begins to question the king's authority after they are forced to kill someone innocent. The assassin must decide if they will still protect the king, who is their brother, against a legendary murderer of royal figures.

When a young girl finds that she can no longer visit the magical world she loved as a child, she tries to find her way back to that world while struggling with the challenges of growing up.

In the distant future, an enslaved cyborg wraith escapes its executioner role with the help of its godly creator, regaining lost memories in the process. The wraith seeks to make amends for the souls it has taken, including that of a past lover, but finds that redemption comes at a great price.