Up at Daily Science Fiction this morning, a little thing I wrote about a homeowner association and a unicorn. Enjoy!
Also, if for some reason you missed my story, Deathlight, out in Lightspeed Magazine last year, it’s now been turned into an audio play by the folks over at Fancy Pants Gangsters. They have a number of other short audio plays up at their site as well – enjoy!
And by epic, I do mean epic – the 170 pages do include a table of contents and things like that, but this is about 167 pages of poetry.
Here’s the blurb:
Maligned for her beauty, cursed for her role in causing a war, she has rarely been given her chance to tell her tale. Now Helen of Troy’s voice breaks free, offering a new vision in this epic lyrical sequence that follows her journey from Sparta to Troy, from earth to hell, and back. A stunning debut novella from Mari Ness, THROUGH IMMORTAL SHADOWS SINGING will transform your view of Helen and the Trojan War, in a soaring poem of love and war, healing and pain, hatred and triumph.
And here’s two small tastes of the poetry inside:
I walk, knowing that the queen of death
may name me sister, that the
cry of the hunt
shares my blood, that I share a father
with the Fates.
Bone on silver,
silver on bone,
the sound of a harp
the memory of dream.
Available April 25.
The Huntsmen was one of those stories that I wrote because the general concept wouldn’t stop nagging at me: how did the princess of the original tale, collected by the Grimm brothers back in the early 19th century, manage to find eleven women who looked just like her? (It was only after I finished the story that I remembered that the majority of people at the time had no access to corrective lenses, so many people would have been too nearsighted to tell the difference.) And why go to so much effort just to get an unfaithful lover back?
I was so focused on those questions that I more or less ignored the other oddity of the tale – the sudden, never explained entrance of a talking lion. But as I shuffled the lion to the side, he started nagging at me too.
This is the result.
It’s an example of how very often, when writing one story, another one appears. At least in my case.
You may, perhaps, be feeling a touch of darkness just now, of despair, of grief.
Feelings, alas, that many watermaidens and snowmaidens understand all too well.
Most, of course, are solitary sorts, keeping themselves hidden in their rivers and springs and ponds, hiding from mortals and fairies alike. A few have even, by choice or coercion, spent their lives half-frozen behind snow and ice, a condition that, however cold and uncomfortable, keeps their hearts secure from pain. Others live only through a single rainfall, a life too swift, too ephemeral, for sorrow or joy.
But even the most solitary watermaiden may find herself grieving over the loss of a nearby tree, or the disappearance of a favorite owl. Even the most frozen snowmaiden may hear a crack in the ice surrounding her, and for a moment – just a moment – think of pain, or feel despair. And those who have spent thousands of years hiding in the depths of their lakes, can tell you of long dark nights, when they wondered if they would ever see light dance through their waters again. Others sing of lost friends, of lost loves, of moonlit evenings they must not forget.
And those a little less solitary, a little closer to mortals – their sorrows can be even sharper. Many have watched as their homes are threatened, or sobbed as fewer and fewer birds arrived each year. Others have dared to talk to mortals, and even more – something that can bring joy or pain.
After all, watermaidens can fall in love, even if they are made of water.
And today, by decree fee, the Official Day of Watermaidens, is a day for remembering those sorrows, those fears, those despairs.
A day where the shimmer on the water you see, out of the corner of your eye, might be no more than a shimmer or a flash of light. Or where a twirling mist might be just an ordinary mist. The water shaking in your glass nothing more than a nearby breeze.
Or it might be a watermaiden, letting you know that she understands.
Watermaidens Day is the brainchild of folklorist Nin Harris. As always, I’m just borrowing it for fun.
The inaugural issue of Umbel & Panicle is out, and with it, my poem “The Stained Oak Leaves.”
The seventh issue of The Mithila Review is out, and with it, my poem The Study. The issue also includes poems by Sonya Taaffe, Margaret Mack, and more, plus short fiction, plus a discussion of Latin American science fiction, fantasy and horror, and much more.