The Short Fiction of Mary E. Lowd

On this page, stories are organized by when they were written.  Mary's bibliography organizes stories by when they were published.
To learn about collections of Mary's stories, check out her anthologies page.  To find a list of her fiction available for free online, check out her free fiction page.

Not All Dogs

      When Petra gets arrested, Lucky finds himself managing their three adopted kittens on his own.      [~4,200 words]
  • Furry Dystopia, upcoming
Sky River

      Today, the ice rings melt.      [~550 words]
The Unification of Worlds

      The final world in a generations-long journey.      [~3,500 words]
  • Arcana, upcoming
Moon Dust

      Rainal is almost out of moon dust.      [~1,400 words]
The Moon Like an Unhatched Egg

      Four uplifted birds compete for the right to represent Earth on a mission to Mars.      [~2,800 words]
On the Eve of the Apocalypse

      A letter written as the world ends.      [~700 words]
Missing: Friendly Spook

      A friendly feline ghost goes missing.      [~1000 words]
Between the Black Holes

      The only escape for Clarity and Iroh is a deadly dangerous maneuver in deep space.      [~1000 words]
Crescent Horns and Tall Ears

      An unguloid at the All Alien Cafe introduces herself to a group of uplifted lapines.      [~1000 words]
Inalienable Rights

      An uplifted lapine faces his former slaver.      [~900 words]
A Jetpack of a Different Color

      Wendy's ready for a day of atmo-surfing with her friend Flooffle, but first, she's in for a big surprise.      [~300 words]
  • QSF Renewal, upcoming
The Best and Worst of Worlds

      Consul Eliana Tor, an exchange officer on the Tri-Galactic Navy ship Initiative, gets swept into a conflict between the cats and dogs of the navy and a dangerous alien race that they've encountered before.      [~6,900 words]
Principles Over Profit

      An avian salvage worker enlists an uplifted lapine to help her find a wrecked ship with especially valuable cargo.      [~1,100 words]
An Aldebaran Sugar Cookie for Star Shaker

      Chirri attends a concert among the stars.      [~800 words]
The Crowds on Crossroads Station

      An uplifted lapine discovers he has a new option available when his slaver brings him to an alien space station.      [~700 words]
One Alien's Wreckage

      A salvage team comes across something surprising in a wrecked ship's cargo hold.      [~800 words]
One Alien's Wings

      Maradia helps a butterfly-alien become her true self.      [~800 words]
Galaxy Shaker and the Celestial Rainbow Dragon

      A reptilian pop-star invites a small fan up on stage with her.      [~700 words]

Of Cakes and Robots

      Chirri gets her biggest order for a cake yet, from a surprising customer.      [~900 words]
Elephantine Daydream

      Jeko is the only elephantine sentient in a classroom full of canine and robotic students.      [~800 words]
True Feast

      Argelnox has fallen behind the star migration, but perhaps she'll stop for a respite.       [~400 words]
The Empty Empire

      World after world is built, but who will live in them?      [~300 words]
Questor's Gambit

      Commander Bill Wilker, a Collie dog on the Tri-Galactic Navy ship Initiative, must protect his crew from a mysteriously powerful lifeform, and following his captain's orders may not be enough.      [~8,000 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2016

Art by Idess
High School Dogs

      Katasha is the only cat at the high school dance.      [~1,000 words]

Sheeperfly's Lullaby

      A sheep's fairytale.      [~1,400 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2016
The Rocky Spires of Planet 227

      The Tri-Galactic Navy ship Initiative investigates an unusual rock formation.      [~2,000 words]
  • Scratch Post Press, upcoming
Birthday

      When you're parenting a five-year-old, your birthday isn't just about you.      [~400 words]
Hidden Intentions

      A reptilian alien with her cool temper is clearly an ideal choice for babysitting the human captain's larval offspring.      [~600 words]

Dealership with the Devil

      Bob Reaper's Autos may have some ulterior motives when it comes to selling used cars.      [~500 words]
Hidden Feelings

      A reptilian alien with a hot temper keeps her cool around annoying humans.      [~400 words]

Small Smooth Pebble

      The ultimate choice is always at her fingertips.      [~100 words]

Marge the Barge

      A Newfoundland dog is not naturally graceful on the ice, but perhaps a tabby cat can teach her to be.      [~6,600 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2016
Danger in the Lumo-Bay

      Captain Pierre Jacques and Doctor Waverly Keller, a Sphynx cat and an Irish Setter respectively, set out to spend a pleasant afternoon testing their ship's new lumo-bay.  But are the safeties working???      [~7,400 words]

All the Cats of the Rainbow

      A kitten in a scientist's lab -- what could possibly go wrong?      [~2,200 words]

Shreddy and the Carnivorous Plant

      An angry cat faces his greatest challenge yet when his owner brings home a Venus fly trap.      [~5,200 words]

Take Them to the Happiness Zoo

      A mother considers an impossible choice.      [~400 words]

The Mouse Who Was Born a Bear

      Maureen never felt right as a bear.      [~1,200 words]

Cold Tail and the Eyes

      Some cats cannot be owned.      [~2,700 words]
Xeno-Nativity

     Maradia considers branching out from robot-design to a new form of nurturing.    [~5,000 words]
  • Fantasia Divinity Magazine, upcoming
Chrysalis Party

     A bittersweet celebration of beginning a new phase.    [~900 words]
Memory Sprites

      A camping trip full of memories.      [~700 words]

FemCloud Inc.

      Every action is a choice.      [~400 words]

Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon

      An angry cat must defend his household from a soul-sucking new game machine.      [~2,800 words]

Katelynn the Mythic Mouser

      A little girl and her cat work magic together.      [~2,500 words]

Pegacornus Rex

      Never leave your 3D printer running unattended.      [~300 words]

A Pearl for Amelie

      While looking through her aunt's old letters, Amelie uncovers an epic tale of academia and the fantastical.      [~3,600 words]

Frankenstein's Gryphon

     Igor the arctic fox learns that his master isn't what he seems.       [~8,400 words]

Shreddy and the Silver Egg

     An angry cat finds himself in charge of a strange, young ward.       [~6,300 words]

Feral Unicorn

     Janie's in over her head when her pet unicorn's horn comes in, and he starts working mischievious magic around the house.       [~4,800 words]

Weremoose

     Darkfoot attacks a moose in the dead of winter, and his relationship with his pack will never be the same.     [~500 words]

Awards:  QuarterReads Featured Story of the Week, September 2015

When a Cat Loves a Dog

     A black cat named Lashonda and her pug dog husband push at the very limits of their society -- socially and scientifically -- in their quest to have a family.     [~37,000 words]
Awards:  Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2014

Songs of Fish and Flowers

     When her witch moves away, a calico cat discovers magic left over in the witch's rose garden.     [~2,300 words]
Birthing Class

     Daniel has a sinister alien life growing inside him.     [~2,700 words]

In a Cat's Eyes

     A Collie pup can never comprehend the depth and mystery behind a Siamese cat's eyes.    [~1,000 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2013

Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost

     An angry cat faces the true spirit of Christmas -- a rodential poltergeist.    [~6,400 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2012

Fox in the Hen House

     Can a fox kit be raised by a mother hen?    [~2,200 words]
Awards:  Rainfurrest Writing Challenge, 2nd Place (September 2012); Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2013; Cˇyotl Award for Best Short Story, 2013

The Wharf Cat's Mermaid

     A club-footed kitten living the hard life of a stray in the Fisherman's Wharf discovers that one of the other cats is keeping a secret.     [~8,300 words]

Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2014

The Best Puppy Ever

     Gloria, the Bernese Mountain Dog, would do anything for her masters, but she doesn't know how much she's already done.      [~1,000 words]

Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2014

The Carousel of Spirits

     When Artie finds a ghost haunting his carousel, it's time for him to build a new horse.     [~3,700 words]

Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2014

The Little Red Avian Alien

     Prilla decides to make grassberry crepelets, but none of her friends on Crossroads Station will help her.     [~2,500 words]

Magtwilla and the Mouse

     A pregnant cat makes a fateful choice to protect her kittens.    [~2,000 words]
Awards:  Allasso Editor's Choice Award for Best Dramatic Work (Spring 2012); Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2012

The Most Complicated Avatar

     A woman can't find her 10-year-old daughter in real life...  But, maybe, she can find her online.    [~1,300 words]
Techno Babel (written with Daniel Lowd)

     A parking garage arm gains sentience.    [~2,300 words]

Cyclops on Safari

     A normal day on safari -- in a different world.    [~800 words]

One Night in Nocturnia

     A mad mouse scientist uncovers truths that he should never know.    [~3,900 words]

Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2012

A Real Stand-Up Guy (written with Daniel Lowd)

     A pug dog comedian wrestles with mixed feelings about his on-stage persona.    [~3,500 words]

Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2014

St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta

     A man cursed by the faerie queen must slay a dragon to earn his freedom.    [~8,400 words]
Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention (3rd Quarter, 2012); Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2012

Lunar Cavity

     Druthel, a delegate from a race of bat-like aliens, seeks the assistance of Wespirtech scientists in averting a catastrophe that faces his world.    [~11,500 words]

Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2015

Foreknowledge

     Before she's even born, Amanda's death is predicted.    [~4,200 words]
Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, (4th Quarter, 2012)

Hot Chocolate for the Unicorn
    
     The Dragon and Unicorn come calling.    [~1,000 words]
Awards:  Meager Puddle of Limelight for Best Short Story Title, Finalist (July 2012); Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2012

Fetching Asteroids

     Jordan is a Labrador Retriever with a dream.    [~300 words]
Awards:  Allasso Prize for Fiction, Finalist, 2011;  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2011

Panda-Mensional

     If your spaceship is powered by a panda, you'd better keep the panda happy.    [~1,400 words]
Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, (2nd Quarter, 2011)

The Canoe Race (with Daniel Lowd)

     When Camp Riverwind closes at the end of the summer, the local animals hold their own summer camp.    [~3,500 words]
Awards:  Coyotl Award for Best General Short Story, 2011 

The Hand-Havers

     At the tender age of one-hand, Delundia falls for a wise old six-handed bachelor.    [~4,700 words]
Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, (1st Quarter, 2011)

Where the Heart Is

     Four aliens from Crossroads Station go on a camping trip.    [~4,700 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2011 

Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs

     An angry cat and an empty-headed Labradoodle must protect their neighborhood from techno-mystically raised zomb-dogs.    [~4,200 words]
Awards:  Nomination for Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2011 

Meet Archive

     A story-telling robot gets lost in his own stories.    [~2,400 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, (3rd Quarter, 2010)

Einray and the Biologist

     A physicist and a biologist at Wespirtech get competitive with world-threatening results.    [~4,600 words]

Harvesting Wishes

     Where do wishes come from?  Dandelions?  Genies?  ... Or asteroids?    [~1,800 words]

Little Sandy Starstrong and her Faithful Robot Dogs 

     Growing up among the asteroids with her two robotic dogs, Sandy feels like something is missing.  [~2,200 words]

My Fair Robot

     A patron at the All Alien Cafe tells a tall tale of the pitfalls in looking for true love by constructing it.    [~1000 words]

One Sheep

     There are many paths that a sheep living on a farm may take in life.    [~500 words]

Daisy Chaining

     A boastful young spaceman traps himself into racing a frezzipod through an asteroid field.    [~1,300 words]

Apples in Aruba

     Order carefully at the All Alien Cafe.    [~100 words]

We Can Remember It For You Retail

     
What happens when memory, technology, love, and digital rights intersect.    [~3,600 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, (2nd Quarter, 2009)

The Ambi-Cognitive Man

    
Two brothers travel to a tiny colony in the far reaches of space where everyone is conjoined twins. They expect to find a place where they belong; instead, they're forced to question the very meaning of individuality.    [~8,700 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, (4th Quarter, 2008)

Gerty & the Doesn't-Smell-Like-a-Melon

     Snuffle-snorting around the melon patch, Gerty finds something that does not smell like a melon.    [~2,100 words]
Nominations:  Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction, 2010

Slug Time

     A young scientist struggles against the clock and procrastination to translate thoughts through a direct brain interface with a slug.    [~2,900 words]

The Nebula Was Empty

     Fear the love of a mega-dimensional nebula beast.    [~700 words]

The Kitty Willow

The Necromouser
  
     An angry cat discovers the techno-mystical ability to raise mice from the dead.    [~2,500 words]
Awards:  Meager Puddle of Limelight for Best Short Story Title, 2nd Place (July 2012)

The Third Wish

     Jealous of his half-brother's elven magic, a fisherman begins studying magic himself.    [~3,000 words]

Emmanuel and the Cannibals

     A colony stranded on an under-evolved world has an unusual response to the introduction of terran bovines.    [~4,500 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (4th Quarter, 2006)

A Second Enchanted Evening

     Bomani convinces his wife to join him in using memory drugs to make their anniversary more romantic; instead, the drugs force them to face the true state of their relationship.      [~6,800 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (2nd Quarter, 2006)

Life with the Tumblers
  
Arlene takes her young son Kyan on a research expedition into an alien culture of sentient trees.    [~5,500 words]
Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (1st Quarter, 2006)

The Screen Savior

     What happens when a screen saver comes to life...    [~1,400 words]

Forget Me Not

     Can a bad memory be the secret to success?    [~2,600 words]

Of Behemoths and Bureaucrats

     Rhea brings her traveling carnival act to the Hegula Hephaesta mining colony to visit the new sun garden, but she and her Starwhals get caught in a battle for interstellar independence that threatens her three gentle giants.    [~4,000 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (4th Quarter, 2004)

The Parable of Two Queens

     Can Commander Dyall and his team of translators -- a pair of gengineered parrots -- fathom the minds of myrmecoid warriors from another galaxy well enough to broker peace?    [~3,400 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (3rd Quarter, 2005)

"Viewers Like You"

    In the future, androids will pay you to watch TV.    [~1,800 words]

My Words Like Silent Raindrops

    A young scientist gets in over her head when she introduces technological telepathy to her friends.    [~4,500 words]  Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (1st Quarter, 2005)

The Faithless, the Tentacled, and the Light

     Nicole is sent to investigate a mysterious outcropping of buildings in the Banti'phi asteroid belt.  [~5,800 words]
Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (3rd Quarter, 2004)

Rekindle the Sun

    A dying world may not be the best place to start your life anew.    [~9,300 words] Awards:  Writers of the Future Quarter Finalist, (2nd Quarter, 2004)

The Opposite of Suicide

    Dennis discovers the fragile, fractile nature of his life.    [~1,500 words]

The Genetic Menagerie

    Two cops chase down a rogue scientist, leading them to the fantastical world he's built with genetic engineering.    [~6,600 words]


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