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Short Stories

“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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“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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“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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“Oak Apple Night”

The morning had been fine and bright, but as the afternoon wore on a stiff wind sprung up, bringing with it clouds and a dampness that heralded rain. Joan, looking out the window of Boscobel House, did not want to go outside. “Please, Granfer . . . does it have to be tonight?”

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“Speak to the Moon”

In Nishina Crater, silence. Inside the Kaguya 6 lander, Itō’s voice, reading off the vehicle’s current power, fuel stores, oxygen tanks, and more. On Tanegashima Island, hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, dozens of other voices doing the same, in the calm tone of accountants checking their figures. In Kemuriyama’s heart, a poem. I owe […]

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“As Tight as Any Knot”

Ondrakja had a sharp eye for valuable things. A handkerchief of fine lace from southern Vraszan. An inlaid ivory snuffbox. A purse fat with coins and left too vulnerable, ready to nick off a man’s belt while he was distracted. A girl begging on the corner of the Uča Idvo. The world Alyc Helms and […]

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“The Long Fall”

I've chosen to post this as a website extra because it is, in essence, authorial fanfic. It's set after the end of Turning Darkness Into Light, and contains MAJOR SPOILERS for that novel.

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