My newest story, “A Bayesian Theory of Wishes“, will be available to read in Issue #2 (coming in November, 2021) of new sff magazine ParSec, edited by Ian Whates.
These anthologies contain stories written by me, or by a collaboration between myself and my husband.
From The Ice Weasels of Trebizond by Mr and Mrs Brenchley
There is nothing quite like that feeling, where you’re woken in the early morning by an explosion far too close to home – first the raucous sound of it startling you from sleep, then the brute vibration of the bed – and you reach for your dear love and find her gone.
That cocktail of confusion and alarm and inevitability happens far too frequently to be labelled in any way unique, but neither may I call it commonplace; there is nothing remotely commonplace about my beloved Clarissa or her behaviours. Who should know it better than I, who bed down with her every night and wake with her – well, most mornings?
From Songs of Innocence by Karen Williams
Mother Mary Eulalia, Bishop of the Diocese of Deseret, paused at the top of the Benton Street overpass and pretended to admire the view, as much as a mountainside of dry sagebrush could be admired. It was better than no excuse at all for being there. She hoped the height would help her spot her followers. None of the activity on her chip had given her guidance. Nor had any higher power.
From Musica Universalis by Karen Williams:
Clay Jamison loved the stars. As a boy growing up in the Rocky Mountains, he would stand outside in the black chill air where the stars gleamed like burning ice, spilling out to cover the heavens. Today he stood closer to the stars than he ever had before. He wished he stood steadier on his feet.
The Dark Side Moon Base nestled in the crater Daedalus and had been built not long after his birth. Inside his cramped cabin, he took small steps in the light gravity yet he still bumped into the equipment jammed into the tiny space. At least he had his own quarters, even if some joker among the scientists had left a stuffed alien doll for him before he arrived. No one would want to share with him anyway, no matter how special the treatment he received.
From Drowning Victims by Karen Williams:
Caroline Bowers looked up from the tourist guide in her hand and said, as cheerfully as possible, “The old Spa Theater is haunted. Isn’t that nice?” She looked back through the light drizzle at her two teenage children. Marcia, in her torn black dress, black stockings, and combat boots, standing with her arms crossed and a deep scowl on her face, looked enough like a witch that Caroline wondered if the rain would melt her. Caroline had named her after Marcia Brady, with a vision of a perfect daughter with flowing blonde hair. Instead, her Marcia had dyed her hair black and would only answer to the name Ravyn Rayne.
About Mr. and Mrs. Brenchley
Mr and Mrs Brenchley are renowned and deprecated in equal measure from New Caledonia in the West to Formosa in the East.* Impeccably dressed and shockingly outré in their behaviours, they arrive unannounced and depart without warning, taking their welcome for granted, leaving disturbance in their wake. They may be discovered playing hoop-la at an archbishop’s garden party or bouzouki at the Grand Turk’s investiture, drinking champagne in an Oxford punt or gin in a Californian airship, debating in Arabic on camelback across the Empty Quarter or in Mandarin on a junk out of Surabaya. Their hospitality is legendary, their company deplorable, their lure irresistible. They are known to have met in a tomb: whether as archaeologists or grave-robbers is less clear. It is said that they are wanted by the authorities on three continents, and not wanted at all on the other two. A word to the wise: they are frequently mistaken for each other.
* In Australia and its environs, they are not spoken of.