The Lion

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.


Nine Songs and Madrepore

Now up at Daily Science Fiction, Nine Songs, my little slipstream story about, well, Nine Songs.

And also now available, one of the rare poems where I plunged into marine biology, sorta, “Madrepore,” in Spelling the Hours: Poetry Celebrating the Forgotten Others of Science and Technology.  The poem is about Anna Thynne, a 19th century marine biologist who, among other things, studied reproduction in stony corals, and also was one of the first to develop salt water aquaria capable of keeping stony corals alive.

The overall collection, as the title says, celebrates other mostly forgotten scientists.


The Forge, and a return of The Fox Bride

The latest in my series of flash fairy tales, The Forge, just popped up at Daily Science Fiction.  And a previous Daily Science Fiction story, The Fox Bride, can now be heard over at

I particularly love the voices chosen for the seer and the magician in this podcast, but what struck me most with both stories is that both of them are from a male viewpoint, something I don’t tend to write as much, which makes it a bit odd that they would both appear on the same day. On the other hand, both of them are fairy tales, and those I write a lot of, since something always seems to drive me back to that imagery and language, and to all of the unspoken moments in the original tales.