The second story of
Her Majesty’s Office of the Witchfinder General
Protecting the public from the unnatural since 1645
Of all the denizens of the circles of Hell, perhaps none is more feared among those of a high-minded sensibility than the succubi.
The Assizes of Suffolk in the eighteenth century granted the Office of the Witchfinder General the power to employ ‘demonic powers’ so long as their use is ‘reasonable’ and ‘made only to defeat some yet greater supernatural threat’. No attempt was made in the wording of the assizes to measure or grade such threats, however – making the question of whether it is acceptable to fight fire with fire a troublingly subjective one.
Now, in the twenty-first century, Danesh Shahzan, Acolyte in Her Majesty’s Office of the Witchfinder General, had been struggling with that very question ever since the events of The Eye Collectors. An unexpected evening visit from his boss, the Crow, was alarming enough – but when it turned out to be to discuss his thesis on succubi, Danesh was surprised yet intrigued. Clearly, another investigation beckoned.
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Simon is a British fantasy and sci/fi writer, with over a hundred short stories published in a wide variety of magazines, including Analog and Nature. He’s the author of the Cloven Land fantasy trilogy, cyberpunk sci/fi thriller The Genehunter and the steampunk Gormenghast Engn saga.
Some of his books are available to download for free – and there are more if you sign up to his newsletter. He’s a member of the British Fantasy Society and the Untethered Realms collective.
He was born in the Year of the Dragon. He still thinks digital watches are a pretty neat idea.