Unfulfilled desires transmit themselves across the years in unfathomable ways...
- From Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces
A sect of sensual medieval heretics stumbles upon the secrets of quantum entanglement, a centuries-old wanderer thrives on rebellion as well as blood in the ruins of post-WWI Munich. Anti-austerity demonstrations lead to haunting connections with past and parallel events, while quantum computing meets 'welfare reform' in our near-future. Meanwhile, persecuted Jews in early 20th century Russia must decide whether extraterrestrials are allies or the schnorrers out of space.
The stories of Rosanne Rabinowitz span the centuries in a remarkable mixture of European history and the familiar world of modern Britain – as well as some all-too-likely near futures. These stories are rooted in the spirit of resistance and rebellion without ever feeling didactic. They are coloured with a sense of the fantastic, the surreal and even the mystical – rubbing shoulders with the reality that arises from every street, every shout of fury or peal of laughter, every dizzying glimpse of human possibilities.
All together as they are here, they weave a cyclical sense of the ebb and flow of power and tyranny and resistance, yet the end result is not hopeless but quite the opposite. Just like so many of the characters in Rosanne’s writing, as we read these stories gathered in one volume, we begin to see ourselves as living with echoes of and surrounded by the past. That the struggle is ongoing does not make it seem futile; instead, we are connected, for as one character notes, “what we call time, and history, exists in layers all around us. And I should be able to see every one of them.” Reading Rosanne’s stories feels like standing in the ruins of a thousand-year-old fortress where you can almost hear the past breathing around you, or in some other liminal place: a magical wood, perhaps, but sometimes the most ordinary of city streets, where you might slip into somewhere else before you realize what’s happened.
- From the Introduction by Lynda E. Rucker
I will always raise my voice and write things down so people will know about them. I will never be like a bell without a tongue.
- From The Bells of the Harelle
Introduction by Lynda E. Rucker
In the Pines
Return of the Pikart Posse
Bells of the Harelle
The Matter of Meroz
The Pleasure Garden
Living in the Vertical World
The Colour of Water
Pieces of Ourselves
Keep Them Rollin’
The Lady in the Yard
Tasting the Clouds
The Turning Track (with Mat Joiner)
Afterword by the Author
In her own words:
"I started writing when I produced ‘zines in the 1990s like Feminaxe and Bad Attitude, contributing articles, reviews and interviews. Then I began to make stuff up. My fiction has since found its way into anthologies and magazines and I completed a creative writing MA at Sheffield Hallam University. My novella Helen's Story was a finalist for the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award for achievement in the ‘literature of the dark fantastic’. I live in South London, an area that Arthur Machen once described as "shapeless, unmeaning, dreary, dismal beyond words." In this most unshapen place I engage in a variety of occupations including care work, copywriting and freelance editing. I spend a lot of time drinking coffee and listening to loud music while looking out my tenth-floor window. Sometimes it's whisky."