I have to mention that the current issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies is pure excellence. Do you like fantasy stories? Do you like interesting characters and riveting storytelling? Then go and read both of its current stories, now.
The first story, The God-Death of Halla is one of those “elaborate religious ritual” stories that I’ve talked about before, but completely unsubverted. That is, it turns out that the God is being manipulated, but the reality of the God is unambiguously established throughout the story. The conclusion was exciting and glowed with the numinous–something hard to do in a short story.
The second, Precious Meat could easily pass for science fiction. The narrator is non-human, and nothing magical happens. What I loved about it, though, was the fact that it takes place at the moment the narrator’s species is passing into a social mode of existence; which is to say becoming fully sentient, and becoming something that we humans can relate to.