Short stories by Brenda Peynado

Brenda Peynado is a Dominican American writer of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. Her writing style ranges from lyric essays, magical realism, fabulism, science fiction, fantasy, surrealism, to some perfectly realistic exaggerations thrown in the mix. Her short story collection, THE ROCK EATERS, is forthcoming from Penguin Books in March 2021. Her work appears in, The Georgia Review, The Sun, Threepenny ReviewEpochKenyon Review online, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Her stories have won a Nelson Algren Award from the Chicago Tribune, an O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize; inclusion in The Best American Science Fiction and FantasyBest Small Fiction, and Best Microfiction anthologies, two Vermont Studio Center Fellowships, and other awards. After a BA in Computer Science from Wellesley College, she worked as an IT auditor for IBM. She graduated with her MFA in fiction from Florida State University, where she held a Kingsbury Fellowship and was Fiction Editor of The Southeast Review. In 2014, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to the Dominican Republic to write a novel about the 1965 Guerra de Abril. She received her Ph.D. in fiction from the University of Cincinnati, where she taught screenwriting, fiction, and science fiction & fantasy writing. Currently, she teaches fiction and screenwriting at the University of Central Florida’s BA and MFA programs.

Listing 3 stories.

Assuming that they were here to invade, mankind massacred the aliens whose ships landed on Earth. Now, the aliens and humans have an uneasy peace together. The aliens who landed on earth love to fly kites. One kite-maker sells them despite harassment from skinheads who hate the aliens and anyone who does business with them.

In an ambiguous American town, a veteran father gifts his scrawny teenage son a dangerous, possessed war jacket that transforms the squeamish boy into a hypermasculine man.

A virus and bacteria-ridden world forces humanity into virtual reality where human touch is but a simulation. When a scientist researching potential reentry encounters the pleasure of real human touch for the first time since her birth, she grapples with the limitations of the seemingly perfect yet largely empty life she has been given.