No Sweeter Art

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“No Sweeter Art”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155, September 4, 2014 (fantasy short story)
also available as a podcast

“As a candy dog I lazed between two street-kitchen buckets. Through the legs of passers-by I glimpsed my real self resting at my stall. Next, I animated the sugar-horse. Nong had convinced an herbalist to hang my horse figurine under his ‘running horse’ lamp. I had worried about the flame but needed this vantage point covered, and so dangled the horse a hopefully safe distance under the lantern’s base.”

2015 Prix Aurora Awards Finalist for Best English Short Fiction

Named a 2015 Parsec Award Finalist for Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast.


In “No Sweeter Art” by Tony Pi, magician Ao possesses his candy sculptures on a mission to foil an assassin’s plot. Pi writes a compelling main character and packs a lot of intriguing Chinese-themed magic into the quick, tight plot. An entertaining piece with excellent pacing and detail.— Michelle RistucciaTangent Online

2014 Tangent Online Recommended Reading List

Clavis Aurea (Apex Magazine): “A spark of colourful adventure…tidy, refreshing, and smart; a pearl of uncomplicated fun.”

Short Fiction You Need to Read (The Alternative Typewriter): “Ancient China, assassination attempt, the Zodiac spirits and a magic based on animating caramel sculptures. It’s incredibly imaginative and magical. Tony Pi has an effortless style that takes you to the end in a heartbeat.”

Locus Online: “A strongly-realized setting here, and an effective Zodiac-based magic system.”

The Best Podcast Short Fiction of 2014 (SF Signal) & The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Podcast (Diabolical Plots)

Book Riot (Kristel Autencio):  “This is a rollicking adventure story about a wizard that works primarily through the medium of candy. Yup.”

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