A few days ago on Facebook I promised I would put up a list of my short fiction. Then yesterday on Twitter I mentioned I’d written a couple of Warhammer* stories back in the day. Everyone seemed surprised. True, I don’t write much short fiction (I have a lot more nonfiction) but even so it seemed like a good idea to remind readers that, yep, there is some out there.
I have a total of 16 stories. Information listed includes date of first publication, length, and brief description including genre.
All, with the exception of “Libby Thomas” and “Princess Fat Grits,” have been reprinted, most many times, and may be available free online in both text and audio. I’ve linked three but there are others. Three more are collected in With Her Body. Quite a few are available in other languages. If you’re interested, there’s also a wonderful short video, “Sun on Dragonfly” based on my reading of “Touching Fire.”
• “Cold Wind” (2014). Tor.com
3,500-word shape-changing dark fantasy set in contemporary Seattle.
• “Acid Rain” (2009). New Scientist
Very short piece of hynagogic writing (fantasy? SF? prophecy?)
• “It Takes Two” (2009). Eclipse 3, ed. Jonathan Strahan, San Francisco: Nightshade
12,000-word SF novelette about the biochemical nature of desire and its role in love.
• “A Troll Story” (2000). Ghost Writing, ed. Roger Weingarten, Montpelier: Invisible Cities
7,000-word fantasy set in 9th-century Norway, based on a Norwegian folk tale.
• “Libby Thomas’s Chemistry Set” (2000). Realms of Fantasy
Under 2,000-word story that’s maybe fantasy, or magic realism, or wish fulfillment.
• “Princess Fat Grits” (2000). Realms of Fantasy
2,500-word fairytale/cautionary tale about the perils of mocking a determined princess.
• “Spawn of Satan” (1999). Nature
1,200-word science fiction about consequences of older motherhood and egg donation.
• “Yaguara” (1994). Little Deaths ed. Ellen Datlow, London: Orion
18,000-word fantasy novella set in the lush jungle-covered Mayan ruins of Belize.
• “Touching Fire” (1993). Interzone
10,000-word science fiction about love, lust, music and what it means to be an artist.
• “Song of Bullfrogs, Cry of Geese” (1991). Aboriginal
7,000-word science fiction in which illness triggers a gentle apocalypse.
• “Wearing My Skin” (1991). Interzone
7.500-word dark fantasy about sisters separated at birth.
• “We Have Met the Alien” (1990). Iron Women ed. Kit Fitzgerald, North Shields: Iron Press
1,500-word fantasy (science fiction? meditation?) about an adolescent discovering she is Other.
• “Down the Path of the Sun” (1990). Interzone
4,500-word post-apocalyptic science fiction about the nature of grief.
• “The Voyage South” (1990). Red Thirst ed. David Pringle, London: GW Books
19,000-word novella set in the Warhammer Fantasy role-playing world, with love, lust, drugs, magic, and sea battles.
• “The Other”(1989). Ignorant Armies ed. David Pringle, London: GW Books
7,000-word fantasy set in the Warhammer Fantasy role-playing world, with love, lust, fear, and politics.
• “Mirrors and Burnstone” (1998). Interzone
8,000-word science fiction that, at the time, I had no idea was the prequel to Ammonite.
* Yes, they all feature queer women. Yes, even then. (I think I might have been the only woman in the anthologies. Certainly the only one writing under her own name.) They were commissioned by David Pringle who published them as is, though he did relay others’ comments to the effect that, “Judging by Nicola Griffith’s stories Warhammer is a matriarchy!” (It was a warning, I think: Write about boys! I did not listen.) There’s another Warhammer novella, “Blood and Earth,” that was never published—I did get paid, but the publishing programme ran into a problem—and a fourth, “Snakesteel,” that I outlined.
I had the best time writing those stories. So much so that in 2006 or 2007 I outlined a big sword-swangin’ fantasy novel based on my characters and plots. I got permission from Games Workshop to publish—if I de-Warhammered them; essentially filed off the serial numbers—but at the last minute started Hild instead. I still think about that novel sometimes. Swords, ponies, sex, angst, magic, war, betrayal, love…