SFF, Short stories

The Lending Library of Final Lines

I have a new story out! “The Lending Library of Final Lines” is free to read online at The Dark. I’ve had a few stories in The Dark now, and I always appreciate being published there – they routinely have stories that I wish I’d written myself, so I’m always excited to see what’s in their new issues.

“The Lending Library of Final Lines” is one of a short series of stories set in the same world, including “The Better Part of Drowning” and “The Ouroboros Bakery.” The setting is a fantastical street constantly threatened by magic and giant carnivorous crabs. Most of what I write is science-based climate fiction, or something along those lines, so these stories are a sort of palate cleanser for me. Just something completely different, because if I write the same thing all the time I get a bit bored. It’s a chance to play, too, with all sorts of characters.

Clytie, the protagonist of “Lending Library,” is incurious, indifferently violent, and about as far from my usual scientist-type of character as you can get. Magical streets have retail workers too, and they exploit them as well. Even so, Clytie’s better off than some. At least she’s out of reach of the crabs…