“To Balance the Weight of Khalem” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

I have a new story for you – it is a fantasy novelette unconnected to Birdverse (for a change), titled “To Balance the Weight of Khalem“. You can read it for free online, and if you are so inclined, you can support BCS Magazine on Patreon. I love this magazine so much.

The new story is about a magical onion, migrations, hunger and food insecurity, and found families, and long travel. The main character is trans (they are still figuring out their identity), and there’s a queer romance with a were-ray love interest. This story is ownvoices on multiple aspects – the onion in particular comes from my life.

The story already received some wonderful reviews. Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews writes:

It’s a complex story of balance and of connection, people reaching people through food and fragrance, through moments of shared grief, through the ways their hurts contradict and the ways their hurts bind together, links in a chain crossing borders. […]It’s a beautiful story, stunningly built and intimately rendered. 

Maria Haskins highlights it at Curious Fictions:

A novelette about a magical onion, about war and immigration and loved, about the memories we carry with us, and the memories we’ve lost along the way. Reading Lemberg’s prose is like opening a treasure chest — it’s gorgeously rich and gleaming and there is a spellbinding, quiet power in the words. This is also very much, a story about food– about the scent and taste and nourishment and comfort food can bring us.

I hope you give this story a read, and, if you are so inclined, let me know what you think.

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R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

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