So Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic is finally out, and I am super excited. Not only is it out, but at the moment you can pick it up in a variety of formats for 15% off the list price–or $8.49, down from $9.99. It features a fantastic variety of takes on a theme by some really wonderful authors; big kudos to our lovely and talented editors for assembling such a diverse lineup of great fiction.
My own piece, “Thin Spun”, is a prequel of sorts to Rosetta, the sf novel that I’ve co-written. As I’ve said before, one of the wonderful things about building Rosetta’s world was the number of other stories and characters that came out of it, largely independent of the central storyline. One of these stories has been published in the MSF benefit anthology Help: Twelve Tales of Healing, and this is another.
When I decided to sit down and try to write something for this anthology, I knew it would probably be something from the world of Rosetta, and I realized fairly quickly that I wanted to explore the backstory of one of our major secondary characters (and say a brief hello to yet another, as well as to one of our heroes). I honestly don’t want to say straight out who it is, because it ends up being a slight spoiler for Rosetta itself. But regardless, it was a lot of fun to watch that story unfold, and along the way I got to meet some new characters I didn’t expect, as well as get an even fuller picture of the world in which I’ve been spending a lot of the past year.
The title itself is from John Milton’s poem “Lycidas”, one small passage of which deals with the myth of the Moirae:
But the fair Guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th’ abhorred shears,
And slits the thin spun life.
The Moirae are only referenced once in the story, but I think they maintain a kind of constant background presence in the persons of the Aalim–the scholar-sorceresses of the Bideshi, the nomadic interstellar tribe to which the main character Lakshmi belongs. Or used to belong. “Thin Spun” is the story of the choices that led to her leaving the Bideshi and of how she finally makes peace with those choices, in the course of helping a scared girl with a stolen spaceship.
Hope you enjoy. Excerpt under the cut.