Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.


Em Liu lives with her husband and goldendoodle in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area, where she researches financial systems by day and devises magic systems by night. Find her on Twitter @EmLiuWriting.

After her father died, Beauty raged against the Beast.
His fortress, which she had loved so much for its chests of magic and its cabinets of knowledge, had suddenly morphed, become a prison of the mind from which there was no egress to be found, as she had tried to find, on more than one occasion--had walked out and followed her feet, only to find herself back where she started.
She threw a book at the Beast's ugly face, and thought how she hated him, sitting upright in a tatty armchair as though it were a throne, his black hair unkempt and his mouth properly gobsmacked, holding the fallen book open in his fingers.
"Why," she wailed at him, conscious--even through her rage--of the tremor of madness in her voice, "why do you keep me here?"
Deferential as ever, he shut the book quietly and spoke to her in a whisper that shuttled across the desk like sheaves of paper: "Miss? This is a library."
So it was: she examined the books that bound her in their straight stacks and remembered that it was their bindings that revoked her liberty, their whispers that kept her numb to a reality less real than the one inspired by the words in her head.
"But I do not want to leave," she wondered, and when the dizzy sway of words subsided, she found no Beast at all, but only the librarian in his spectacles.
He held the book out to her from across the desk, and a smile softened his handsome jawline.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, April 22nd, 2019
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying Liberty by Em Liu.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

3.9 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):