I’m delighted to report that I’ve sold my fantasy short story The Wind Shall Blow to Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

BCS is, in my opinion, the best secondary-world fantasy venue out there right now, and Scott Andrews and crew are always a delight with which to work.

The Wind Shall Blow is the third story I ever wrote, back in 2009, though the current version is much improved. It was inspired by a folk song my dad sings, and is a sequel of a sort to a much more recent song, the identification of which I leave to the reader.

Here’s a taste:


Regan slid herself past Andrew to the corner of the bar, for a view of the fire and what were surely the sources of the strange voices: two figures like engravings, all black and white and long thin lines.  One had long straight hair bound back with leather, the other was all angles and ragged edges, both of them pale and smooth of face.

Marta followed her look a shake of her head and a finger crossing her chest.  “Weird ones, those two.  Howled in with the wind last night.”

One of the blacksmith’s boys, Regan could never remember which one was which, looked over his shoulder, and smirked at Regan.  “Could be your brothers, eh?  The magpie’s got a clan, at last.”

‘Magpie’ was not the foulest name she had in town, but perhaps the cruelest.  Stealer of gold, raider of nests.

“Or her sisters.  Too pale they are for honest men’s work,” said Andrew.   But he said it quietly, with an eye to the strangers’ swords—long as a Highlander’s with basket hilts and wicked curves—and the brace of pistols on the table.

“George Brewer said they rode in from the south.  English spies, most like,” said a blacksmith.

“No spy’s going far looking like that,” his brother replied, “‘less they’re spying in a graveyard.  Irish, I’d say,” with a look at Regan, “mercenaries, after the bounty on the moss-troopers.  Corpse pickers, that lot, and drawn to the war.”

“Savages from the Indies, across the sea,” said Marta, “and pagan as a Highlander, mark my word.”  There was a chuckle at that all round.

“Whatever else they might be,” said Regan, “they’re showing silver.”  The group looked over as one, and indeed, one of the two men by the fire, the spikey one, was tapping a coin on the table, an eyebrow raised between ragged hair and a ragged grin.

I’ve sold my novelette HigherWorks to Asimov’s Science Fiction.  Here’s a taste:

On the far side of the crossing are two uniformed officers of the UK Immigration Service, conspicuously not cops courtesy of their berets and their semi-automatics. The two are staring straight at them through the stream of crossing pedestrians.

Mrs. John Dee wedges herself between Dyer and Shimago. “You’re not seriously waiting for the walk light?” she says. Then she follows their gaze and adds, “Oh. Oh dear. But they can’t stop us unless they have cause.”

Shimago says, “Crossing against the light is cause.”

“And not crossing is suspicious behavior,” Dyer says.

As if summoned by her statement, the two UKIS officers step off the curb. Dyer fights the sudden urge to look over her shoulder; looking like she’s going to run could escalate a bad situa- tion into a fatal one.

And then she looks anyway, because she knows what she’ll see: the fragile-faced woman, from the canal, from the catacomb wall, standing in carbon black relief against a white sunlit store- front. Not a woman, though, is it? Not a rival nano cook, not some patent-tracking bounty hunter in from the US. It’s something else entirely, that outline drawn flat against the concrete like an opening, like a door. With no conscious decision Dyer takes Mrs. John Dee’s hand, tugs her to- ward the figure even though it’s already fading to a shimmering afterimage. There’s a real door there, though, behind the figure’s promise and Dyer grabs the handle, looks back to see if Shima- go is following.

The impossible shape is now standing in the crossing, still no more than a silhouette: the gleam of leather below and eyes above, and as the UKIS officers step up behind her the bright sudden slash of a smile.

And as she smiles there’s a pop pop pop from overhead, loud enough to sting, smoke and a shower of glittering fragments. A beat of silence, then the crowd in the street rears up screaming and crashes down together like a wave. Another round of pops. Still on her feet, Dyer can see that it’s the street surveillance drones blowing out, one by one, but for the folks on the ground it’s cause for more panic. The UKIS officers struggle to keep their footing as they track Dyer through the scrum. One fails and takes the other down with him. The impossible woman’s hair fades with the smoke; the gleam of her smile fragments like the falling debris.

Mrs. John Dee tugs Dyer’s hand. She and Shimano are already through the door.

My story Twelve and Tag, originally published in the March 2015 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, will be appearing in Czech in XB-1.  Many thanks to Foreign Rights Editor Martin Šust and translator Jitka Cardová!  XB-1 previously translated and reprinted my story “Slow Boat”.

And the English version of Twelve and Tag is available for pre-order now in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2016 Edition, edited by Rich Horton.

And there is an excellent audio adaptation of the story at StarShipSofa.

Here is a perfect performance by Kate Baker of my story Between Dry Ribs at The Dark!



My story “Between Dry Ribs” is online now at The Dark magazine.  The entire issue is excellent; check it out!

Between Dry Ribs


You can hear me reading my story Bloom in the latest Asimov’s podcast.  Bloom original appeared in the December 2013 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, and was reprinted in Neil Clarke’s Forever magazine #11.  The story was a finalist for the 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

I am delighted that my story Twelve and Tag, originally published in the March 2015 issue of  Asimov’s Science Fiction, will be included in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2016 Edition, edited by Rich Horton and coming out from Prime Books in June.

Twelve and Tag also got a “recommended” review from Locus Magazine, and appears on Tangent’s list of the best stories from 2015.


My story Bloom, originally published in Asimov’s and a finalist for the 20104 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, has been reprinted in Neil Clarke’s Forever Magazine, available from all the usual suspects for all e-formats.


I’ve sold my story Between Dry Ribs to The Dark magazine for their February 2016 issue.  The story travels from St. Martin to Finland, in search of the healthy benefits of a good sauna.  Here’s a taste:

In the mirror, the parents are studying the menu in a sort of baffled dread. ‘What are we doing here,’ those looks said, so far from the pastel-painted markets by the cruise ship landing, manned by Dutch students on their year-off adventure, alway within safe range of a McDonalds or PizzaHut or Starbucks. Their confusion, the way their eyes twitch as the bartender hacks at the ice with a pick, the way their sweat-slick shoulders hunch forward. All that, too, is reassurance.

The boy has twisted in his chair, has pinned a gecko’s tail to the wall with one finger; as I watch in the mirror the tail pulls free and the gecko drops to safety. The girl has set her phone down. Her reflection gives me a look too dry and flat, and a fresh layer of sweat breaks out across my scalp, under my bra. I smell my own fear. The girl is rolling her can of Coke across her forehead, and her reflection is too distorted, the mirror too dank and corroded for me to tell if the glints are sweat or just the can’s condensation.

The humidity, which finds everything, can make my lighter unreliable. I fight the urge to try it, imagine the lure of the flame. Instead I pull out my little pocketknife, open it so the blade faces upward, rest the last joint of my forefinger upon it.

StarShipSofa has produced a fantastic audio adaptation of my story “Twelve and Tag”, originally published in the March issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.  The audio was performed—voices and all—by Jonathan Sharp, and the podcast is graciously hosted by Tony C. Smith.  Special thanks to StarShopSofa’s Jeremy Szal for setting everything up.

This is my third audio adaptation.  My World Fantasy Award winning story “The Telling” from Beneath Ceaseless Skies is here at PodCastle.  And my story “Freia in the Sunlight” from Asimov’s SF is here at EscapePod.

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