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"A Grave Between Them"

In Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identity and Memory , edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media Group, August 2021.

  • "Highlights include “A Grave Between Them” by Karina Sumner-Smith, in which a teenage protagonist is forced at gunpoint to bring someone back from the dead ..." - Publishers Weekly review

  • "Karina Sumner-Smith's “A Grave Between Them” tells of a teenage girl granted a power that makes her far more world-weary than she ought to be." - Lashawn M. Wanak, Lightspeed Magazine review

"A Traitor's Heart"

In The Clan Chronicles: Tales from Plexis , edited by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books, December 2018.

"The Oracle and the Warlord"

In The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and the Bound , edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media Group, September 2017.

  • Finalist for the 2018 Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) Small Press Award for Short Fiction.

  • “And in the collection’s strongest story, the profoundly sad “The Oracle and the Warlord,” by Karina Sumner-Smith, Andra is forced to watch her charge and would-be lover, a powerful oracle named Sayenne, surrender everything she has to the power of the dark waters from which she draws her prophecies, growing weaker with each one … [W]orth reading.” – Publishers Weekly review

  • “Full of mystery, this story had an engaging pace to it from the start. It was easy to empathize with the lovers and the prose pulled the reader through to an interesting end.” – Tangent review

"When the Zombies Win"

In The Living Dead 2 , edited by John Joseph Adams, Night Shade Books, 2010.

"Written in Smoke"

In Ages of Wonder , edited by Julie E. Czerneda and Rob St. Martin, DAW Books, March 2009.

"On a Day That Has No Name"

In Jabberwocky 3 , edited by Sean Wallace, Prime Books, November 2007.

  • “Sumner-Smith deftly reveals the situation slowly, pulling in the reader as the narrator pulls in the nets, until we are as desperately and helplessly entwined in the story as are the dying fish and the dying protagonist.” – Kimberly Lundstrom, review in The Fix

"An End To All Things"

In Children of Magic , edited by Kerrie Hughes, DAW Books, June 2006.

  • Nominated for the Nebula Award.

  • Reprinted and translated in Czech anthology Trochu Divne Kusy 3 , edited by Martin Šust.

  • “In ‘An End to All Things’, Karina Sumner-Smith tells the story of Xhea, whose gift for entropy locks her out of the living magic that powers her home city. When she comes across a singular ghost, she must discover why this ghost is such an anomaly – a discovery that will liberate Xhea from her own ghostlike existence.” – Drew Bittner, review in SFRevu

  • “Standouts include … ‘An End To All Things,’ Karina Sumner-Smith’s eerie revelation of a world of both dark and bright magic … Strong writing, a love for the topic and a commitment to crafting short fiction that works make this collection a real gem.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Safe Passage"

In Mythspring , edited by Julie E. Czerneda and Genevieve Kierans, Red Deer Press, March 2006.

"The Voices of the Snakes"

In Issue #2 of Fantasy Magazine , February 2006.

  • Honorable Mention, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #20 , edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin Grant.

  • Reprinted in audio at Podcastle , October 2008. Listen Here.

  • “Sumner-Smith takes great care to illustrate a prisoner too weary to care about her punishment anymore. She creates a story so sad and resigned that the ending is almost breathtaking. Very well done.” – Aimee Poynter, review in Tangent Online

  • “A similar poignant thoughtfulness pervades many other of Fantasy ‘s stronger tales [including] … ‘The Voices of the Snakes’ by Karina Sumner-Smith, the legend of Perseus and Medusa retold from the Gorgon’s standpoint and that of her snakes, a brilliant touch.” – review in Locus

"A Prayer of Salt and Sand"

In Summoned to Destiny , edited by Julie E. Czerneda, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, October 2004.

  • “Sumner-Smith is another writer picked out by the Asimov’s Undergrad Award program and a Clarion grad. So should readers hold the bar higher for this new writer? Well, any reader who does will find Sumner-Smith capable of clearing the bar with room to spare in ‘A Prayer of Salt and Sand.’ … I don’t want to say much, don’t want to spoil the reader’s pleasure in encountering another significant talent in Summoned to Destiny .” - Pat Forde, review in Made in Canada

"Marks of Ownership"

In Why I Hate Aliens , edited by Marissa K. Lingen, Stone Garden Publishing, December 2003.

"A Last Taste of Sweetness"

In Issue #13 of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet , November 2003.

  • “Karina Sumner-Smith’s ‘A Last Taste of Sweetness’ is also filled with feeling. The end of the world has been done to death, yet this sad reflection manages to find new words on the topic by visiting the last actions and thoughts of a handful of people preparing for the end with various small rituals.” – Matthew Nadlehaft, review in Tangent Online

"She is Elizabeth Lynn Rhodea"

In Issue #1 of Flytrap , November 2003.

  • Honorable Mention, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #17 , edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin Grant.

  • Honorable Mention, 2003 Asimov Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing.

  • “[H]aunting, a perfectly-modulated study of loss and longing. … ‘She is Elizabeth Lynn Rhodea’ should be considered for any of the Best of the Year anthologies, including the non-genre ones. Subscribe to Flytrap just so you can read it.” – Matthew Cheney, review in The Mumpsimus

"Loving the Bomb"

In Far Sector SFFH , November 2003.

  • Honorable Mention, 2002 Asimov Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing.

"Drowned Men Can't Have Kids"

In Strange Horizons , August 2003.

  • Read the full story online here.

  • Honorable Mention, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #17 , edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin Grant.

  • “Literate, smart, quirky, strange, moving, accomplished.” – Tim Pratt, review in personal blog

  • “Notable stories elsewhere online include Karina Sumner-Smith’s ‘Drowned Men Can’t Have Kids,’ an atmospheric and moving story about a girl and her guilt-ridden parents and the strange shadow man who may be the key to her parents’ pain.” – Rich Horton, review in Locus

"How to Kill the Sun"

In Issue #10 of Challenging Destiny , August 2000.

Flash Fiction and Poetry

“She Tried to Teach Me Poetry” in NFG, 2004.

“Waterside Old Age Home, Room 245″  in Issue #2 of NFG, May 2003.

“My Sister’s Table” in Issue #6 of The Phone Book, June 2002.

“The Little Things” in Issue #5 of The Phone Book, March 2002.

“From False Worlds” in Dark Planet, February 2000.

“Deeds in Memorial” in Issue #5 of Neverworlds, May 1999.


“Remembrance Day” in Issue #3 of Turbocharged Fortune Cookie, 2006.

Head shot photo of Karina Sumner-Smith

About The Author

Karina Sumner-Smith is a Canadian fantasy author. Her work has been nominated for the Nebula Award, and translated into Czech and Spanish. She currently lives in Toronto.