The Absence of Feathers

The Best of Luna Station Quarterly…

Last year, my short story “The Absence of Feathers” was published in Issue 17 of Luna Station Quarterly. And that was cool! But now, LSQ has put out an anthology: The Best of Luna Station Quarterly: The First Five Years. And happily, “The Absence of Feathers” is included, available for the first time in print.

Of course, it’s not just me. Fellow Kiwi authors A.J. Fitzwater (“The Woman With Flowers in Her Hair”) and A.C. Buchanan (“Built in a Day”) are also included. As are two of my favourite short story authors, Chikodili Emelumadu (“Tunbi”) and Penny Stirling (“Tanith’s Sky”). Stirling, by the way, is the author of one of the finest short stories I’ve ever read (“Love Over Glass, Skin Under Glass”, published in Aurealis if you’re interested, and you should be. You really should be.).

So if you’re interested in a whole lot of fantastic short speculative fiction by women, this might be the anthology for you! You can check it out here.

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Reviews and reproduction…

I’ve had two new short stories published in the last couple of weeks, both themed around reproduction.

The Absence of Feathers“, a mythological eco-fantasy, has been published in the latest free-to-read issue of Luna Station Quarterly. “Feathers” features the Morrigan and her adopted grand-daughter Einin, and what happens to them when all the birds disappear from the world.

“Vita Urbis”, published in Elektrik Milk Bath Press’ recent urban fantasy anthology Twisted Boulevard, is probably my favourite story. It took me seven years to write, mostly because there were darlings I didn’t want to kill, but the poor things got slaughtered in the end. It’s about an architect who is impregnated by a city, interspersed with scenes from classical mythology, where women were always getting knocked up by bulls or swans or showers of gold, though I hope I’ve given the women involved a bit more agency than Ovid did in his Metamorphoses, which was a major inspiration for this story. There’s also shades of Oz in there, and 1984, to give a bit more density and layering.

That both stories feature myth is no accident. They’re part of a collection I’m working on, called The Mythology of Salt (that being the title of a story of mine that was published in Strange Horizons last year). Salt is based around the idea of women and myth and the consequences of knowledge. There’s two or three more stories I’m planning on finishing up soon, and then hopefully Salt will be complete enough to sell.

Speaking of selling, there’s a couple of reviews of my novella, Trading Rosemary, that have come out recently. The Book Smugglers were very kind and particularly complimentary, and Locus also had some positive things to say. It’s so nice when that happens – Trading Rosemary is my first book, and it’s such a relief to know that people like it.

If anyone’s interested, I also did a guest blog about the novella over at Catherine Lundoff’s site. It was very kind of her to ask me (thanks, Catherine!), and I was pleased to do it.