New Story: “The Legend Trap” + interview

kaleidoscope arrived - editedThe latest Twinmaker-related story is now in print! “The Legend Trap” is in Kaleidoscope, a collection of diverse science fiction and fantasy stories edited by Alisa Krasonstein and Julia Rios, which can be ordered from pretty much everywhere. The story’s about what happens when you take urban myths too far, or perhaps the other way around. Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s never going to work,” said Damon. The tallest of the three, he also thought he was the smartest, but that distinction probably went to Lydia, Jude’s girlfriend. Lydia was skinny like Damon, but with angular hips and long hair in a braid down her back. She was cloud-pale and gray-eyed, and the opposite in almost every respect to Jude. Jude was short, muscular, and dark. She had a tattoo of a small, gray mouse above her left breast. That was how she thought of Lydia, she said: permanently close to her heart. But really it was more about the mouse. Jude liked to dominate.
“Scared?” she said.
“Not at all,” said Damon, running a hand through his thin, brown hair. It needed a wash. It usually did, but particularly today. Maybe he was a little on edge. “Just being practical. What you’re talking about is magic. D-mat isn’t magic. It’s a machine. Urban myths are fun and all, but they’re not real.”
“Who says? Maybe this one is.”
“Rituals are real,” said Lydia. Her voice was soft. Generally her friends stopped to listen. “We’re on a legend trip—you know, checking out a graveyard or a spooky old house? That’s what it’s called. On the way we tell stories and prove our bravery and bond, and … oh! We should’ve brought beer.”
Jude produced a small silver flask from her back pocket. “Way ahead of you, babe.” She took a swig and passed some of the burning liquor to Lydia through a messy, wet kiss.
Damon sniffed. “I don’t need to prove anything. And you two do enough bonding as is.”
Lydia laughed, pressing a hand to her sternum, where warmth was spreading outward in waves.
“Chicken,” she said.
“Yeah, chicken out if you want, Lame-o Dame-o,” said Jude. “We’re going anyway.”
He reached for the flask. She gave it to him. He wiped the neck on his sleeve and deliberately took too much—an asshole tax, he thought of it, not realizing that made him the asshole. For a second he thought he might cough, which would have been devastating.
“So let’s do it,” he said in a thin, tight voice.

I’ve been waiting for this to come out for a while. It’s one of my favourites. Buy the book for all the other excellent stories it also contains, and enjoy!

(Note, btw, how that photo cleverly conceals my bright red nose – I have man-flu. Sigh.)

Meanwhile, in non-germ news, I am editing book three and working on a series of smaller works to come out around the release of book two. To date, these include five short stories, four urban myths, one deleted scene, one poem, and one song. Plus there will be something resembling an Australian tour. More on these later! For now, here’s an in-depth interview about how I sold my very first book. Really takes me back . . .

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