Amal El-Mohtar’s “Seasons of Glass and Iron” tells the tale of Tabitha, who must walk through seven pairs of iron shoes, and Amira, who sits on a throne atop a glass hill, which she cannot move from. Each woman lives in her own personal prison, but life gets a little brighter when they happen to meet and find friendship.
This short story was originally published in the anthology The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, which is fitting for this feminist fairy tale, finding a new role for women that doesn’t involve a prince or handsome woodsman. It won both the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the 2017 Hugo in the same category.
Read it here, through Uncanny.