“Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
“Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel makes her living as a scavenger. She finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic despotic bear that once prowled the corridors of a biotech firm, the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly, and broke free. Made insane by the company’s torture of him, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers.
At first, Borne looks like nothing at all ― just a green lump that might be a discard from the Company, which, although severely damaged, is rumored to still make creatures and send them to far-distant places that have not yet suffered collapse.
Borne reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment that she resents: attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick ― a special kind of dealer ― not to render down Borne as raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.
But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel ― and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.
Lady Dilke's The Outcast Spirit and Other Stories was published by Snuggly Books in November 2016.
Information about Lady Dilke:
Lady Dilke (1840-1904), born Emily Francis Strong, was an author, art historian, feminist and trade unionist. She wrote numerous articles and books on art, in both English and French, and, during her lifetime, published two darkly themed collections of short stories titled The Shrine of Death and Other Stories (1886) and The Shrine of Love and Other Stories (1891).
Information about The Outcast Spirit and Other Stories:
There is nothing else quite like the short stories of Lady Dilke in the annals of English literature, and even readers who have little sympathy with their stylistic affectations, allegorical pretensions and harrowing conclusions are likely to admit that they have a peculiar fascination. Those who find some resonance in their psychological ambience might easily think them touched with genius. The simple fact that they are so unusual is a great asset in itself, from the viewpoint of lovers of exotica, but they are not peculiar merely for the sake of cultivating unconventionality. Seen as an assembly, in fact, their visionary element acquires an extra dimension of coherency, and also manifests a marked evolution, from the slightly tentative experimental ventures of the stories in The Shrine of Death to the triptych of masterpieces constituted by "The Hangman’s Daughter," "The Triumph of the Cross" and "The Mirror of the Soul," which are truly remarkable works considered individually, but gain even more from being placed in the broad frame provided by this, the first comprehensive collection of the author’s fiction.
A REVIEW OF LADY DILKE'S THE OUTCAST SPIRIT AND OTHER STORIES
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Deborah Sheldon.
About the author
Deborah Sheldon is a professional writer from Melbourne, Australia. Her short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines, journals and anthologies. Her latest releases include the horror novel, Devil Dragon, the crime-noir novellas, Dark Waters and Ronnie and Rita, and the horror collection, Perfect Little Stitches and other stories, all of which are with traditional publishers. The title story of her horror collection, ‘Perfect Little Stitches’, was nominated for an Australian Shadows Award. Other writing credits include television scripts, stage plays, magazine articles, non-fiction books (published by Reed Books and Random House), and award-winning medical writing.
Visit Deb at http://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com.
Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories:
GUEST POST: From Idea to Story by Deborah Sheldon
Five Stories High was published by Solaris Books in December 2016.
Information about Jonathan Oliver:
Jonathan Oliver is the multi-award winning editor of The End of The Line, Magic, House of Fear, End of the Road and Dangerous Games. He’s also written a couple of novels and a bunch of short stories. He lives in Abingdon with his family and their cat.
Information about Five Stories High:
Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas each set in the same house Irongrove Lodge. This five storey Georgian mansion, once a grand detached property, has now been split into five apartments.
This is a building with history, the very bricks and grounds imbued with the pasts of those who have walked these corridors, lived in these rooms.
Five extraordinary writers open the doors, revealing ghosts both past and present in a collection that promises to be as intriguing as it is terrifying.
Featuring novellas by Sarah Lotz, JK Parker, Nina Allan, Robert Shearman and Tade Thompson.
A REVIEW OF FIVE STORIES HIGH (EDITED BY JONATHAN OLIVER)
Stephanie Burgis' Masks and Shadows was published by Pyr in April 2016.
Information about Stephanie Burgis:
Stephanie Burgis was born in Michigan, but now lives in Wales with her husband, writer Patrick Samphire, and their children. Before becoming a fulltime writer, she studied music history as a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna, Austria, and worked as a website editor for a British opera company. She has published over thirty short stories for adults. Kat, Incorrigible (US)/A Most Improper Magick (UK) won the Waverton Good Read Children’s Award in 2011 for Best Début Children’s Novel by a British writer. It was followed by Renegade Magic/A Tangle of Magicks and Stolen Magic/A Reckless Magick.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Masks and Shadows:
The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress - a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.
A REVIEW OF STEPHANIE BURGIS' MASKS AND SHADOWS
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Alan Baxter.
Alan’s award-nominated dark fantasy thriller trilogy, The Alex Caine Series - Bound, Obsidian and Abduction - gets its US release with Ragnarok Publications, starting on December 20th with Bound. Books 2 and 3, Obsidian and Abduction, will be out in July 2017. Ask your local store and library to get copies in if they don’t have them.
Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers and urban horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dog and cat. He’s the multi-award-winning author of several novels and over seventy short stories and novellas. So far. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – www.warriorscribe.com – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.
GUEST POST: Fighting as Metaphor by Alan Baxter