My story ‘The Twelfth Hour’ has just been released in a new anthology, Daughters of Icarus, from Pink Narcissus Press. It’s a delight to see a third short story from the world of The Siaris Quartet novels (published by Musa Publishing) go into print. Here’s an excerpt:
Siena stepped into the cave’s opening and drew aside the veil. Tiers of red-brown rock ran down from her high perch into steep ravines clothed in dark green fronds. Clouds hung low over the hills, blotting out the Core’s radiance. Despite their ominous colour, they would bring no rain until the Deep had passed…and there would be little for it to fall on, anyway, if Siena didn’t succeed.
When Deep-dark holds the world in thrall
And Feather-child hears the old blood call
Shimmer-lines open the day’s twelfth hour
The Core’s fire weaves its liquid flower
Look for one born in the ribbon time
Given the markings, given the sign
The old rhyme echoed through Siena’s mind. At a hundred years old she might still be young in the reckoning of the Feather tribes, but she’d heard the chant from the day of her birthing. She sifted her fingers through a handful of plaits hanging down her front, and glanced at the ‘markings’. Even in the dim light, flickers of gold gleamed in her black hair. As a girl, she’d been told the Core had kissed her more than was usual, and threaded its kisses into flesh, quill, hair and bone.
She’d met only one other marked as she was; but while Siena was a Gatherer, young Faerel was a Dreamer, and knew the signs. Siena scanned the craggy hilltops and cliffs.
She sent out the call, little more than a mental whisper.
The response was immediate, with the high-pitched musicality that was Faerel’s signature. Siena spread her wings and lifted from the ledge outside her cave.
Siena and her tribe were great fun to write for Daughters of Icarus. They’re currently making their way into the plan for a fifth novel, sequel to The Siaris Quartet.
Here’s what reviewers are saying about Daughters of Icarus, a collection of new feminist science fiction and fantasy.
“Strong pieces offer memorable takes on the notion of feminism in speculative fiction.” – Library Journal
“This collection of 28 short stories […] explores many areas of speculative fiction, from fantasy lands of ritual and magic to postapocalyptic wastelands to modern cityscapes. Throughout, the authors explore themes of gender, identity, and autonomy, with characters as diverse as miniature clones, stripper vampires, aggressive mermaids, and mystical crones. Many of the stories focus on gender roles and the pull of relationships, whether parental, familial, or romantic, among all kinds of people.” – ForeWord Reviews
Available in trade paperback wherever books are sold:
With thanks and congratulations to editor Josie Brown, cover artist Jordan Tao Mambert and designer Rose Mambert for publishing another excellent Pink Narcissus anthology.
Daughters of Icarus includes stories by Marissa James, Douglas J. Ogurek, Cynthia Reeser, John McCormack, A.A. Balaskovits, Tina Starr, Janett L. Grady, Donna Scott, E. Catherine Tobler, Thoraiya Dyer, Laura Givens & Nicole Spencer, Zachary Jernigan, A.J. Fitzwater, David North-Martino, Margaret Karmazin, Eric Bosse, Heather Fowler, Caren Gussoff, Erica Lianne Inglett, Anna Sykora, Elizabeth Aldrich, R.P. Steeves, Jason Andrew, Joanna Fay, Therese Arkenberg, Jennifer Linnaea, Summer Hanford, and Ao-Hui Lin.