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Short Story Series

“Fate, Hope, Friendship, Foe”

The sign for the exit said FATE in blocky white letters, with an arrow pointing the way to town. The old woman laughed and drove on. The seed for this story came to me back in the summer of (I think) 2004, when — for reasons too long to explain here — I drove from […]

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“The Me of Perfect Sight”

The hall of the Abzu-temple was impossibly vast, and impossibly full. On shelves to either side, on tables down the center, stood the holy me: the decrees of Anu, the supreme god of the land between the rivers, which made all things of the world come into being. As you may have noticed, this is […]

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“Two for the Path”

The proverbial “message in a bottle” is supposed to wash up on a seashore. The one I receive comes by river instead — by river and by ally — and both of those are strokes of luck. I don’t recall what made this idea wander into my head, but I know it happened ages ago, […]

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“Then Bide You There”

That afternoon there had been a fair, with jugglers and dancing and the storyteller plying her trade. When night fell the fair did not end, but the storyteller was tired, and the blacksmith insisted on walking her home. This might be the closest I’ve come to writing hatefic. It’s inspired by the folksong “The Two […]

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“Guidelines for Using the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library”

1. Unlike when visiting Fairyland, you need not worry about the perils of eating or drinking while inside the library. It’s always an extra delight when you manage to sell a piece you feared might be unsellable. This piece of flash fiction, in listicle format, is basically my love letter to the main library at […]

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“Never to Behold Again”

Beauty is a consumable thing. I owe thanks to the author Isabel Yap for this flash story. Her collection Never Have I Ever introduced me to the tradition of binukot — and while this flash piece isn’t actually about that tradition as practiced in the real world, reading up on it gave me the idea […]

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“This Living Hand”

The tree was right where the old poet said it would be. This was one of the first pieces of Onyx Court short fiction I had a concept for, but it took me over a decade to write. The reason for that was research: I needed to know more about the English Romantic poets, but […]

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“And Ask No Leave of Thee”

I’m the kind of person who, soon as you tell me not to do something, I do it. Because fuck you, even if you are a friend. And Tia wasn’t that much of a friend. I’ve had a fascination with the Scottish border ballad “Tam Lin” since I was a kid, courtesy of Diana Wynne […]

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“Ghost and Fox”

It was to be expected, the doctor said, after such a close call as yours. He spoke in learned terms of excesses of yin, of meridians and flows, stagnation in the blood that he had put right. The woman they said was your mother listened and nodded and paid him with taels of silver, thanking […]

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